The federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was expected Monday to announce new guidelines that would require health insurance companies to cover women’s health care services, including birth control and and breast exams, without a co-pays or deductibles.
The new rules, made possible by President Obama’s Affordable Care act, would begin Aug. 1, 2012.
“We know that half of women, according to studies, forego or delay preventive care because they can’t afford it and under the affordable care act that all changes,” White House advisor Stephanie Cutter told ABC News.
Services covered will include well-woman exams, screening for gestational diabetes, breastfeeding support, domestic violence screenings, and all FDA-approved birth control methods — including emergency contraception like the morning-after pill.
In July, an Institute of Medicine report recommended making contraceptives free to all women.
That report came under immediate fire from conservatives like Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly.
“Many women who get pregnant are blasted out of their minds when they have sex, and they’re not going to use birth control anyway,” O’Reilly said last month.
Watch this video from the ABC’s Good Morning America, broadcast Aug. 1, 2011.