Birth control, services now free
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has issued new guidelines ensuring that women will receive birth control and other preventive care for free.
Under the guidelines, new health insurance plans will be required to cover women’s preventive services — including annual visits to the gynecologist, breast-feeding support, sexually transmitted infection counseling and domestic violence screening — without charging a co-payment, co-insurance or deductible.
Additionally, the guidelines state that contraception and screening for gestational diabetes, human papillomavirus and HIV must be issued to patients free of charge. DNA testing for women 30 and over will also be covered under these new guidelines.
Insurance companies must include these services, without cost-sharing, no later than Aug. 1, 2012.