Women's preventive benefits now covered under insurance plans - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Women's preventive benefits now covered under insurance plans

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(08/01/12) - For the first time ever, under the Affordable Care Act, women's contraception and other preventive health benefits must now be covered under new health insurance plans.

That provision of the President's Plan begins Aug. 1.

This section of President Obama's health care plan has been quite controversial and still is to some extent because birth control is covered under the law. The plan covers only the generic brands of birth control, not name brands.

Health insurance plans are now required to provide eight preventive health benefits for women. Along with contraceptives, breast-feeding supplies, screenings for sexually transmitted infections and counseling for domestic violence are now covered.

They also include routine check-ups for breast and pelvic exams, pap tests and prenatal care. Fourteen preventative service benefits for women have already taken effect under the affordable care act, including mammograms to screen for breast cancer.

While these benefits come at no cost to the individual, insurance experts say be prepared for premiums to spike. Anywhere from a half percent to four percent. Those could hit sometime next year. 

While the law takes effect now, it may not mean women can receive the services free right away. Health plans may not honor the services until the plans renew, which is typically Jan. 1.    

Not all insured women will have access to the new services. Certain insurance plans that existed before may have "grandfathered" status and may be exempt from offering the benefits.

Check with your local provider for more details.

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