In a historic move by the U.S. Department of Health & Human services, health plans that begin on or after August 1, 2012 must cover a wide variety of women’s preventative services without a co-pay. These services include birth control, voluntary sterilization, screening for a variety of diseases including gestational diabetes, and breast feeding support; including supplies such as breast pumps. These new rules are an extension of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and according to the HHS Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius:
The Affordable Care Act helps stop health problems before they start…these historic guidelines are based on science and existing literature and will help ensure women get the preventive health benefits they need.
For most Americans this means these services will be covered beginning in January of 2013. Bravo!