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Entries in Preventative Care (1)

Tuesday
Jul192011

Health Law Could Require Coverage of ‘Full Range’ of Birth Control

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- A report released Tuesday and requested by the government recommends that the “full range” of birth control methods, including the “morning after pill” known as Plan B as well as oral contraceptives, should be offered to “all women with reproductive capacity” at no cost under the Affordable Care Act.

The Department of Health and Human Services requested the study to determine which preventative services are vital to women’s health and well-being and should be added to the co-pay free list.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will make a decision by Aug. 1 on whether or not to include the recommendations.  They would go into effect one year after Sebelius makes her decision.

“This report is historic,” Sebelius said in a statement Tuesday. “Before today, guidelines regarding women’s health and preventive care did not exist.”

Planned Parenthood lauded the report in a statement.

“Millions of women, especially young women, struggle every day to afford prescription birth control,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.  “Today’s recommendation brings us a step closer to ensuring that all newly insured women under the health care reform law will have access to prescription birth control without out-of-pocket expenses.  This would be a tremendous stride forward for women’s health in this country.”

But social conservative groups said it would lead to government-sponsored abortion.

The Family Research Council, a Christian advocacy group, said including Plan B in the Affordable Care Act’s insurance coverage “essentially would mandate coverage for abortion.”

The Guttmacher Institute, a research group that advocates for abortion rights,  estimated that unintended pregnancies cost taxpayers about $11 billion per year because two-thirds of them are funded by public insurance such as Medicaid.

Other services recommended by the committee include STD and HIV counseling, gestational diabetes screening for pregnant women, counseling and equipment to promote breast feeding, screening and counseling to help prevent domestic violence, yearly preventative care visits, and human papillomavirus testing for women older than 30 to help prevent cervical cancer.

The study particularly focused on women because reproductive and gender-specific conditions lead to women using more preventative care than men on average. Therefore, women face higher out-of-pocket costs, the report noted.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio