In what may eventually reduce claims for life insurance, the Obama administration announced that insurance companies will have to provide birth control services, testing for HPV in women 30 and older, and screening for HIV and other services without a co-payment.
Connie Schultz, a columnist for The Cleveland Plain Dealer, called the changes brought about by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act a long-overdue improvement to women's reproductive health. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services proposed the new rules in response to recommendations by the nonpartisan institute of Medicaid, she said. The requirements will officially kick in August 1, 2012.
With these services, Schultz hopes that the costs of medical care in general will go down. She says women will pay up to $50 a month for birth control and $7,600 for an uncomplicated pregnancy, thereby saving a fair amount of money in avoiding an unplanned pregnancy with possible complications.
"The Affordable Care Act helps stop health problems before they start," said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. "These historic guidelines are based on science and existing literature and will help women get the preventative health benefits they need."