Historic new guidelines that will ensure women receive preventive health services including contraception at no additional cost were announced today by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Developed by the independent Institute of Medicine, the new guidelines require new health insurance plans to cover women’s preventive services without charging a co-payment, co-insurance or a deductible. Among the services covered will be FDA approved contraceptive methods including the morning after pill. Health insurance plans will need to include these services without cost sharing beginning on or after August 1, 2012, depending on the specific start of the plan year.
For decades, many health plans in the U.S. did not cover contraceptives even when Viagra was covered for men. This has been a point of contention for women’s advocacy groups for years. The regulation does contain an amendment that addresses the objections of religious institutions that allows them to offer insurance to their employes that give them the choice of whether or not to cover contraception services similar to laws that exist in many states.
To read more on the additional women’s health preventive services covered in the new guidelines click HERE.