Affordable Care Act Now Covers Contraceptives
By EGP News Report
Birth control and other health services geared to women will be fully covered by insurance under the Affordable Care Act, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the federal U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), announced during a news conference on Aug. 1.
The Affordable Care Act legislation on health insurance reform—signed into law by President Obama March 23, 2010—attempts to make prevention affordable for all Americans by requiring insurance to eliminate cost sharing on health services.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services website, the list of preventative services added to the no co-pay list as of Aug. 1, include: well-woman visits; screening for gestational diabetes; human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA testing for women 30 years and older; sexually-transmitted infection counseling; human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) screening and counseling; FDA-approved contraception methods and contraceptive counseling; breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling, and domestic violence screening and counseling.
The new guidelines were adopted based on recommendations in the Institute of Medicine’s study ordered by HHS to evaluate “specific preventive measures that meet women’s unique health needs and help keep women healthy,” according to health officials.
The IOM’s report relied on “independent physicians, nurses, scientists, and other experts to make these determinations based on scientific evidence,” according to the Institute. The report recommended that the “full range” of birth control methods, including the “morning after pill” known as Plan B, should be offered to “all women with reproductive capacity” at no cost.
“The guidelines we’re adopting today reflect the huge health benefits that come with preventive care,” Sebelius said during the Aug. 1 news conference. “Not [covering birth control] would be like not covering flu shots, or any of the other basic preventive services that millions of other Americans count on every day.”
For a complete list of the prevention services insurance providers are now required to cover at no additional cost, visit http://www.healthcare.gov .Print This Post
August 11, 2011 Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.