The Department Of Health & Human Services Announces Free Birth Control Access

birth control pill container(BlackDoctor.org) — Health care reform requires new insurance plans to fully cover women’s preventive care, which now will include free birth control, yearly wellness visits, breastfeeding counseling and equipment, and screening for gestational diabetes, domestic abuse, HPV, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and HIV.

The Department of Health & Human Services (HSS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced the expanded definition of women’s preventive care. The ruling closely follows the advice of an Institute of Medicine expert panel, released July 20:

“Today, as part of the Affordable Care Act, we are announcing historic new guidelines that will help women get the care they need to stay healthy,” Sebelius said at a news teleconference. “Today we are accepting the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine, so no woman in America needs to choose between paying a grocery bill and paying for the key care that can save her life.”

The new requirement does not affect health plans in effect before
March 23, 2010. These “grandfathered” health plans include most employer-sponsored plans. However, the majority of employer plans already cover contraception.