Navigation Links
HHS: Insurers Must Pay for Birth Control for Women
Date:8/1/2011

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Beginning Aug. 1, 2012, women in the United States will have their birth control covered by insurance companies, free of co-pays, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Monday.

"Most private health care plans, including the private health care plan available to members of Congress, already include most of these services, including contraception. Family planning is something that keeps women healthy, and it was an important piece of today's announcement," Stephanie Cutter, a White House advisor, told ABC News Monday.

The move to make contraception free to women is one of eight new measures aimed at providing "preventive health services" to women, the HHS said. They follow on recommendations from a report issued July 19 by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), which advises the federal government.

The new initiatives are based on those recommendations and seek to expand women's access to preventive services under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

"The Affordable Care Act helps stop health problems before they start," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in an agency statement released Monday. "These historic guidelines are based on science and existing literature, and will help ensure women get the preventive health benefits they need."

The IOM report was commissioned by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to identify "gaps in preventive services for women as well as measures that will further ensure women's health and well-being," the agency said.

In addition to insurance coverage for birth control, the HHS is also mandating free coverage of the following:

  • Well-woman visits.
  • Screening for gestational diabetes.
  • Testing for the human papillomavirus (HPV) as part of cervical cancer screening for women age 30 and older.
  • Counseling about sexually transmitted infections.
  • Counseling and screening for HIV.
  • Counseling on breast-feeding, including breast-feeding equipment.
  • Counseling on interpersonal and domestic violence.

"New health plans will need to include these services without cost sharing for insurance policies with plan years beginning on or after August 1, 2012," the HHS said. The agency added that, "plans will retain the flexibility to control costs and promote efficient delivery of care by, for example, continuing to charge cost-sharing for branded drugs if a generic version is available and is just as effective and safe for the patient to use."

In a statement issued at the time the IOM panel released its report, committee chair Linda Rosenstock, dean of the School of Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles said that "the eight services we identified are necessary to support women's optimal health and well-being. Each recommendation stands on a foundation of evidence supporting its effectiveness."

By adding birth control to the list of recommendations, the committee said it hopes to reduce the rate of unintended pregnancies, which make up almost half of all pregnancies in the United States.

The HHS noted that not every health insurance plan must comply with the new directive, however. "The administration also released an amendment to the prevention regulation that allows religious institutions that offer insurance to their employees the choice of whether or not to cover contraception services," the agency said.

Reaction to the HHS's announcement on birth control varied.

"Today is a historic victory for women's health and women across the country," Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement. "The decision by HHS is monumental for millions of women who have struggled with the cost of birth control and other essential health-care services such as cervical cancer and HIV screening," she said.

However, Jeanne Monahan, director of Family Research Council's Center for Human Dignity, said at the time of the IOM report that "several drugs have been approved by the FDA to be legally categorized as 'emergency contraceptives,' despite functioning in ways that can destroy a preborn baby before or after implanting in the mother's womb. A federal mandate to all insurance plans to include drugs such as ella essentially would mandate coverage for abortion."

Besides insurance coverage for contraception, the committee also recommends patient education and counseling for all women of reproductive age.

The IOM report said many women with unintended pregnancies aren't likely to receive prenatal care, are more likely to smoke, more likely to be depressed and more likely to be victims of domestic violence during pregnancy.

Unintended pregnancy also increases the risk for a preterm delivery or a low birth-weight infant. Both these conditions increase the risk for health and developmental problems for a child, the report said.

Women need more preventive care due to pregnancy and other conditions, which can leave them with more out-of-pocket costs than men. So, adding these services to preventive care can help level the field with men when it comes to costs, the committee said.

More information

For more on preventive care, visit HealthCare.gov.

SOURCES: Aug. 1, 2011, news release, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; July 19, 2011, Institute of Medicine report, Clinical Preventive Services for Women: Closing the Gaps; July 19, 2011, news release, Family Research Council's Center for Human Dignity; August 1, 2011, news release, Planned Parenthood


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. PIA Hails Removal of Medical Malpractice Insurers From Bill Restricting Insurance Antitrust Exemption
2. Doctors Applaud House Vote to Remove Anti-Trust Exemption for Health Insurers
3. Poll Finds Americans Blame Insurers, Drug Companies for Rising Health Costs
4. UTHealth study suggests private insurers control health care spending better than Medicare
5. True Signs of Autism May Not Appear Until 1st Birthday
6. UAB-led study shows simple steps could reduce stillbirths by up to 1 million
7. March of Dimes Provides $2.6 Million in New Funding for Preterm Birth Research
8. Experts call for acceleration of research and interventions for prematurity and stillbirth
9. Black Women at Higher Risk of Birth-Related Heart Problem
10. HIV drug that protects a fetus should be avoided for one year after childbirth, researchers say
11. Successful treatment of periodontal disease lowered preterm birth incidences
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
HHS: Insurers Must Pay for Birth Control for Women
(Date:6/26/2016)... Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... On ... as sponsor of the 2016 Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle ... honor of the city’s history as home to some of the world’s leading providers ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements ... was developed to enhance the health of felines. The formula is all-natural and is ... herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are Astragalus ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Orion, Clarkston, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 26, ... ... with respect to fertility once they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These women ... intercourse but they also require a comprehensive approach that can help for preservation ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... TX (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin ... of the American College of Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical ... and highly effective treatment for skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture animations, FCPX users can ... CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package transforms over 1,300 hand-drawn ... X . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it above media or text ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016  MedSource announced today that it has ... solution of choice.  This latest decision demonstrates MedSource,s ... their clients by offering a state-of-the-art electronic data ... nowEDC as the EDC platform of choice in ... "nowEDC has long been a preferred EDC platform ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) announced that ... PCT (procalcitonin) assay as a dedicated testing solution for ... clearance, Roche is the first IVD company in the ... risk assessment and management. PCT is a ... in blood can aid clinicians in assessing the risk ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 , ... on Thursday, July 7, 2016 , , , , LOCATION: ... , , , , EXPERT PANELISTS:  , , , ... Senior Industry Analyst, Christi Bird; Senior Industry Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar and ... The global pharmaceutical industry is witnessing an exceptional era. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: