The Short of It
The Department of Labor, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Treasury Department issued a reminder to insurers Monday that under the Affordable Care Act, they must cover birth control costs for patients—and their well and preventative exams.
Since President Obama passed the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies have been trying to skirt the issue when it comes to paying for birth control. At least it seems that way, since the federal government felt the need to issue a set of clarifications on its policies.
The most important message to insurers: they must cover birth control without a co-pay or deductible. They must also cover well exams and preventative care.
While an insurance company is allowed to encourage patients to choose one particular form of contraceptive, it must cover at least one type of all 18 FDA approved forms of birth control, from the pill, to male and female condoms, to spermicide. And ultimately, it is up to doctors to determine the right form of birth control for each patient.
Coverage must be offered for "clinical services, including patient education and counseling, needed for provision of the contraceptive method."
Also of note in the clarification is that insurers may not charge higher rates or deny coverage based on a person's "sex assigned at birth, gender identity, or recorded gender."
For its part, Planned Parenthood was ecstatic over the additional clarification, as I'm sure many people who haggle with insurance companies will also be.
What do you think?
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