After a year of relentless attacks on women’s access to affordable health care comes some good news.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommended to the Department of Health and Human Services that birth control be considered a preventative health service. Should HHS accept the IOM recommendation, virtually all health insurance plans would be required to offer female patients free coverage for contraception.
The recommendation is just one of several findings made by the IOM concerning preventative health care services for women. Breast pumps rentals, counseling for domestic violence and annual wellness exams and HIV tests were also recommended as preventative health services for coverage. The IOM suggested strengthening several existing services as well.
The recommendations come as the Affordable Care Act continues to roll out. The ACA requires plans to cover the services listed in HHS’s comprehensive list of preventative services.
While the science clearly backs the findings, predictably conservative groups have turned the recommendations into a debate about abortion. Groups like the Family Research Council argue coverage for contraception would lead to subsidizing of abortion by way of the “morning after” pill.
HHS has until August 2nd to decide whether to accept the IOM recommendations or not.
Read more: abortion, affordable care act, breast pumps, contraception, health care reform, insurance, preventative care, reproductive health, reproductive justice, reproductive rights, wellness exams, womens health
Photo from brainsthehead via flickr.
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