UPDATE: Health insurance companies will now be required to provide women free birth control, in keeping with the new Obama administration guidelines.
The new guidelines, which the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) labeled “historic,” will require new health insurance plans to include women’s preventive services including FDA approved contraceptives, breast feeding support, and well-women visits — all without charging a co-payment, co-insurance or a deductible — beginning August 1, 2012.
Another birth control revolution may be on the horizon. Fifty years after the pill was introduced, free contraception for women in the U.S., may be in effect thanks to the new health care law by the Obama administration. According to the LA Times, the Obama administration, is recommending that all U.S.-approved birth control methods — including the “morning after pill,” taken shortly after intercourse to forestall pregnancy — be added to the federal government’s list of preventive health services.
The IOM noted that women with unplanned pregnancies were more likely to put off or neglect prenatal care and to smoke, drink or experience depression.
The recommendation to add birth control is a big gain for organizations like the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and Planned Parenthood, but is likely to stoke opposition from conservative and religious groups.
Other services recommended by IOM include screening for gestational diabetes, testing for human papillomavirus (HPV) in women over 30, counseling for HIV and sexually transmitted infections, lactation counseling, screening for domestic violence and yearly wellness visits.