Women are getting access to eight new prevention-related health care services free beginning Aug. 1, 2012 announced Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. The new rules in the health care law requiring coverage of these services take effect at the next renewal date – on or after Aug. 1, 2012— for most health insurance plans. For the first time ever, women will have access to even more life-saving preventive care free of charge.
“President Obama is moving our country forward by giving women control over their health care,” Secretary Sebelius said. “This law puts women and their doctors, not insurance companies or the government, in charge of health care decisions.”
The eight new prevention-related services are:
- Well-woman visits.
- Gestational diabetes screening that helps protect pregnant women from one of the most serious pregnancy-related diseases.
- Domestic and interpersonal violence screening and counseling.
- FDA-approved contraceptive methods, and contraceptive education and counseling.
- Breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling.
- HPV DNA testing, for women 30 or older.
- Sexually transmitted infections counseling for sexually-active women.
- HIV screening and counseling for sexually-active women.
The Affordable Care Act has already helped women in private plans and Medicare for the first time gain access to potentially life-saving tests and services, such as mammograms, cholesterol screenings, and flu shots without coinsurance or deductibles. Today’s announcement builds on these benefits, generally requiring insurance companies to offer, with no copay, additional vital screenings and tests to help keep women healthy throughout their lives.
These services are based on recommendations from the Institute of Medicine, which relied on independent physicians, nurses, scientists, and other experts as well as evidence-based research to develop its recommendations. These preventive services will be offered without cost sharing beginning August 1, 2012 in all new health plans.
Source: US Department of Health & Human Services, News Release – July 31, 2012