Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that it is adopting the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations for preventive care services for women. This will ensure that women have access to the following services under health insurance plans without having to pay a co-payment, co-insurance or deductible:
screening for gestational diabetes
HIV screening and counseling
contraception methods and counseling
breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling
screening and counseling for domestic and interpersonal violence
Coverage for these services is expected to begin Aug. 1, 2012.
There is one caveat for some women regarding access to contraception without a co-pay — a provision that “Group health plans sponsored by certain religious employers, and group health insurance coverage in connection with such plans, are exempt from the requirement to cover contraceptive services.”
An announcement at the HealthCare.gov site indicates that public comment is welcome on this provision. Although I haven’t yet been able to locate it on Regulations.gov, instructions for comment and more detail about the exemption is provided in this document.