ABC News is reporting that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has revealed new guidelines in regards to women’s health care. One of the most controversial aspects is that insurance companies will be required to cover women’s preventive services without a co-pay or deductible — including birth control pills.
The new changes won’t go into effect until August 1, 2012. In addition to the distribution of birth control pills, these government guidelines make the following co-pay or deductible-free:
- well-woman screenings
- gestational diabetes screenings
- breast-feeding support
- domestic violence screenings
- FDA-approved birth control methods (includes the morning-after pill and emergency contraception)
Officials are saying the new guidelines are meant to give women the opportunity to stop health problems before they begin. Just last month, the Institute of Medicine issued a report arguing that birth control is a preventive medicine, and should be made available for free.
The majority of women will have to wait until January 2013 for these benefits to go into effect, but once the insurance kicks in, there will not be anything additional to sign up for.
Only time will tell if these new women’s health guidelines will lead to a rise in insurance premiums.
For more information, as well as reaction to the news, you can watch the ABC News segment below: