Insurance Coverage of Contraception Will Help Women’s Health
Part of a Series
On Monday, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced a historic development in women’s health: Insurance companies must cover fundamental preventive health services for women at no additional cost.
The new HHS guidelines are based on the much-anticipated report by the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine, “Clinical Preventive Services for Women: Closing the Gap,” which was released less than two weeks prior. Based on the medical evidence, the committee of experts concluded that preventive care for women should include, among other things, the full range of contraceptive methods approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The report confirms what we already knew: Contraception is basic health care for women.
The IOM report identified two primary reasons for recommending coverage of the full range of FDA-approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity: preventing unintended pregnancies and promoting healthy birth spacing. Each woman’s circumstances may require a particular type of birth control, so all contraceptive options must be available. This comprehensive coverage allows a woman and her doctor to determine which method is most appropriate for her unique situation.
The bottom line is that complete insurance coverage of contraception will have a direct beneficial impact on women’s health and well-being.
For more on this topic, please see:
- HHS: Contraception Is Prevention by Jessica Arons and Alex Walden