By Miri Cypers, Senior Policy and Advocacy Specialist
Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that women on new health insurance plans will have access to birth control and screenings for domestic violence without having to pay out of their own pockets.
As part of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the independent, nonpartisan Institute of Medicine released a landmark report on preventive health care for women last month. This report recommended that important preventive services should be covered by health insurance at no out-of-pocket cost to women, including domestic violence screenings and counseling, contraception, annual well-woman visits, and other services. Today, HHS adopted these recommendations, producing a landmark victory for women who rely on these essential preventative services.
With all of the troubling news coming out of Washington, especially related to women’s access to reproductive health coverage, today’s news is truly a breath of fresh air for advocates and women everywhere who rely on these services. Thank you to all of our advocates who contacted HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to urge her to adopt the IOM’s very important recommendations. Please be sure to keep informed about JWI’s advocacy efforts. More information on this decision is available on the HHS website.