Monday, July 12, 2010

Raising Women’s Voices: Contraception is Preventive Care

Nearly half of all women have delayed or avoided preventive care due to the cost. The new health care reform law addresses this problem by requiring all new private insurance plans written after mid-September to cover several categories of preventive services without any cost sharing (including co-payments, coinsurance and deductibles for all expenses that must be met before coverage kicks in). The categories of services to be covered include preventive care and screenings for women as recommended by guidelines to be developed by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Raising Women’s Voices is urging individuals to contact Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius to ask her to make sure comprehensive contraceptive care is included in the list of preventive services for which there will be no co-pays or deductibles. Her agency will release this list later this year in the form of guidelines for implementation of the Women’s Health Amendment to the new health reform law.

Ensuring women’s unimpeded access to comprehensive contraceptive care would offer tremendous benefits to women and families. Women would no longer be forced to forego needed services because they cannot afford them and would not have to choose the cheapest form of contraception, rather than the one that best meets their current reproductive health needs.

If you believe this is an important issue for women please contact the Secretary at Healthreform@hhs.gov or 202-205-5445.

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