New Guidelines To Make Birth Control Fully Covered By Insurance

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is announcing historic new guidelines Monday.

The new measures will ensure women receive preventative health services at no additional cost.

Under the new guidelines, millions of women stand to gain free access to a broad menu of birth control methods due to a new requirement that will require new health care plans to cover contraception without charging a co-payment, co-insurance or a deductible.

Under President Obama's health care reform package, insurers are required to fully cover the cost of preventative care in most cases. Reproductive rights groups, who had been fighting to get women-specific health care included under the preventative umbrella, hailed the recommendation as a positive step for women's health.

"Millions of women, especially young women, struggle every day to afford prescription birth control," said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said earlier last month when the recommendations were first made.

"(Today's recommendation) brings us a step closer to ensuring that all newly insured women under the health care reform law will have access to prescription birth control without out-of-pocket expenses."

Also to be covered under the new guidelines: gynecological visits, breastfeeding support, and domestic violence screening.

Private insurance companies," Deputy Senior Advisor to President Obama Stephanie Cutter said, "have to provide the services with no out-of-pocket costs. Many of the benefits we're announcing today are already part of large private health care, employer plans, and they're part of federal health care benefits. Members of Congress have the benefits. Now, they're going to be available to all women."

"There are things covered like treatment for gestational diabetes to keep mothers and their children healthy, well-woman visits to treat women for the things unique about their health needs and, of course, contraception."

Under President Obama's health care reform package, insurers are required to fully cover the cost of preventative care in most cases. Reproductive rights groups, who had been fighting to get women-specific health care included under the preventative umbrella, hailed the recommendation as a positive step for women's health.

Under the new health care law, the guidelines would take effect August 1, 2012.



 
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