More Generous Insurance Coverage for Preventive Care for Women

The news that health insurers will be required to cover contraception and related counseling, courtesy of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed last year, received a lot of media attention and political blowback.

Because some people find that provision of preventive care for women objectionable, it overshadowed other elements of the new guidelines, which pertain to insurance policies whose plan years begin on or after Aug. 1, 2012. Such policies are referred to as “nongrandfathered” because they represent only new plans; a health plan in effect now cannot be “grandfathered” into this coverage, although some might include it anyway.

As defined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the mission of the ACA is to promote prevention of health problems in the hope of reducing the need to treat them. It also aims to make care affordable and accessible for everybody by requiring health plans to cover preventive services and eliminating cost sharing.

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