And ... Wahoo! Pop the champagne! Something went really right in Washington yesterday. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has announced new guidelines that require private insurance plans to cover women’s preventive health care—including birth control—with no co-pay or deductible.
Starting on Aug. 1, 2012, all health plans will provide “co-pay or deductible-free well-woman visits, screening for gestational diabetes, breast-feeding support, domestic violence screening and all FDA approved birth control methods—including emergency contraception such as the morning-after pill,” ABC News reports.
The guidelines were recommended by the Institute of Medicine and the White House says the changes are unlikely to impact premiums. White House adviser Stephanie Cutter told ABC that studies show half of women delay or don’t get preventive care because they can’t afford it, “and under the affordable care act all that changes.”
Naturally some groups and individuals are opposed to providing free birth control—I was kind of freaked out about them potentially getting their way—but they didn’t.
So let’s ignore them for just a moment and be happy that safety, sense and sanity can score the occasional victory in Washington. Whee!