The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has formally accepted the recommendations suggested by the Institute of Medicine last week.
As stated in their press release, these following health services will eventually be provided without shared cost to the patient:
- 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 Department of Health and Human Services will allow religious institutions that provide health insurance to opt-out of the provision for contraception.
This is the first time that women and women’s health has been specifically addressed by the department in such a way. It is also a huge step forward for women everywhere. This is especially useful to the women of North Carolina. Politicians in our state voted to defund Planned Parenthood earlier this year. Just last week, North Carolina joined the shameful number of states with unnecessary, politically-motivated abortion restrictions. Birth control without co-pay and access to STI and cancer screening is something women here need badly. These new provisions to health insurance will be very welcome by many women who, no doubt, have been worrying about how to pay for their prescriptions. They are hoping to make these recommendations a reality by August 1, 2012.
For more specific information about these new provisions click here at healthcare.gov
. For more specific information on Affordable Care Act at HRSA