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Tuesday, March 13 2012
Affordable Care Act Expands Prevention Coverage for Women’s Health and Well-Being
The Affordable Care Act – the health insurance reform legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010 – helps make prevention affordable and accessible for all Americans by requiring health plans to cover recommended preventive services and by eliminating cost sharing. Preventive services that have strong scientific evidence of their health benefits must be covered and plans can no longer charge a patient a copayment, co-insurance or deductible for these services when they are delivered by a network provider.
Women’s Preventive Services: Required Health Plan Coverage Guidelines
Under the Affordable Care Act, women’s preventive health care services – such as mammograms, screenings for cervical cancer, and other services – are covered with no cost sharing for new health plans. However, the law recognizes and HHS understands the need to take into account the unique health needs of women throughout their lifespan.
The Health Resources and Services Administration-supported health plan coverage guidelines for women’s preventive services below, developed by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), will help ensure that women receive a comprehensive set of preventive services without having to pay a copayment, co-insurance, or a deductible. HHS commissioned an IOM study to review what preventive services are necessary for women’s health and well-being and should be considered in the development of comprehensive guidelines for preventive services for women. HRSA is supporting the IOM’s recommendations on preventive services that address health needs specific to women and fill gaps in existing guidelines.
Share your comments on the Guidelines: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn more about the Affordable Care Act and the Guidelines for Women’s Preventive Services or find more information about the IOM’s July 2011 report titled Clinical Preventive Services for Women: Closing the Gaps.
Health Resources and Services Administration-Supported Women's Preventive Services: Required Health Plan Coverage Guidelines
These guidelines are effective August 1, 2011. Accordingly, non-grandfathered plans and issuers are required to provide coverage without cost sharing consistent with these guidelines in the first plan year (in the individual market, policy year) that begins on or after August 1, 2012.
* Refer to recommendations listed in the July 2011 IOM report titled Clinical Preventive Services for Women: Closing the Gaps concerning individual preventive services that may be obtained during a well-woman preventive service visit.