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Contraception, well-woman visits, breastfeeding equipment—at no cost to your patients under new regs

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Women will also receive screening services without fee, HHS mandates; Secy’s actions spurred by IOM guideline revision and Affordable Care Act provisions


 

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Beginning in August 2012, new health plans must offer expanded women’s preventive health coverage with no cost sharing, announced Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services. This expanded definition will become part of the Affordable Care Act.1

Following recent guideline changes from the Institute of Medicine, women’s preventive care will include yearly wellness visits, breastfeeding counseling and equipment, free birth control, and screening for gestational diabetes, domestic abuse, HPV, sexually transmitted infections, and HIV.1,2

Women will have access to all FDA-approved forms of contraception (including emergency contraceptives),3 sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling. However, religious institutions that offer health insurance to their employees may choose not to offer birth control.1-3

No cost sharing includes co-pays, co-insurance, and deductibles. However, an insurer may charge a co-pay for brand-name drugs if a lower-cost generic version is available and is proven just as safe and effective.1-3

The Guidelines for Women’s Preventive Services are available at: www.hrsa.gov/womensguidelines/

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