As of today, most insurance plans will have to cover specified women’s preventive care services with no co-pay or other cost-sharing requirement for consumers. Eight services will now be covered without cost sharing:
- Well-woman visits
- Gestational diabetes screening for pregnant women
- Domestic and interpersonal violence screening and counseling
- FDA-approved contraception methods, and contraceptive education and counseling
- Breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling
- HPV DNA testing, for women 30 or older
- Sexually transmitted infections counseling
- HIV screening and counseling for sexually-active women
This adds to the 16 preventive services for adults that have been covered with no cost sharing since September 2010 under the Affordable Care Act, including depression screening and tobacco use counseling.
The new requirement applies to insurance plan years beginning August 1 or later. Since most employer-sponsored insurance plans align with the calendar year, this means that many people will not actually reap the benefits of free preventive care until their new plan year begins in January. In addition, “grandfathered” insurance plans are exempt from meeting this requirement.