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Free Birth Control Coverage is Now the Rule

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

In keeping with the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations that free birth control be made available to all under their insurance policies, a new rule from the White House mandates birth control coverage without co-pays or deductibles. The new rules also cover domestic violence screening and breastfeeding assistance without co-pays or deductibles.

Starting Aug. 1, 2012, new health insurance plans will be required to cover women’s preventive care without charging a co-pay or deductible. The new guidelines require health insurers to provide FDA-approved birth control, including emergency contraception such as the morning-after pill, HIV screenings, and well-women visits, among other services.

The guidelines also include an amendment that allows religious institutions that offer insurance to their employees the choice of whether or not to cover contraception services.

– Yvonne S. Thornton, MD, MPH