Birth control, other services for insured women to become free Wednesday under Affordable Care Act
A number of preventative care benefits for insured women will be available beginning Wednesday without a co-pay because of reforms under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
About 47 million women - 1.6 million of which are in Michigan - with health insurance will be eligible for free annual tests and screenings, as well as birth control.
The contraceptive issue has been a controversial one among Catholic organizations. After the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the law this summer, more litigation could be forthcoming on behalf of Catholic institutions.
The Affordable Care Act forces insurance companies to pay the full amount for a number of preventative services for women. The law requires the changes to take effect upon the individual’s next plan renewal date, on or after Aug. 1.
Women with health insurance will now be able to receive a variety of preventative services without having to share the cost of them with the insurance company, including the following:
- Annual well-women visits
- Gestational diabetes screening for women 24 to 28 weeks pregnant, and for those at high risk
- HPV DNA testing for women age 30 and older, every three years
- Sexually transmitted infection counseling, HIV screening and counseling
- Food and Drug Administration-approved contraception and contraceptive counseling, not including drugs that induce abortions
- Breastfeeding supplies, support and counseling
- Domestic violence screening and counseling
The law already has required private insurance companies and Medicare to offer services to women like mammograms, cholesterol screenings and flu shots without co-insurance or deductibles.
To find out what free preventative services you may now be eligible for through your health insurance, click here.