August 3, 2011
(Most) insured women won't have to pay extra for the pill.
The Obama administration announced new guidelines yesterday that will require all insurance companies to cover yearly HIV testing and counseling for women at no additional cost.
The new rules -- part of a larger national push to save on health dollars by investing in female preventive care -- will knock down barriers that have stopped testing.
By 2013, women can also say goodbye to birth control co-pays at the drug store. The new guidelines mandate that nearly all private health insurance plans cover government-approved contraceptives for women at no extra charge.
There's an exception, of course: Health plans offered by some religious employers will be exempt from the requirement to cover contraceptive services.
"These guidelines will save countless dollars and lives," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), "and send a hugely powerful message about the importance of women's preventive health care."
Read more from the Department of Health and Human Services.