Historic new guidelines that will ensure women receive preventive health services including contraception at no additional cost were announced today by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Developed by the independent Institute of Medicine, the new guidelines require new health insurance plans to cover women’s preventive services  without charging a co-payment, co-insurance or a deductible.  Among the services covered will be FDA approved contraceptive methods including the morning after pill.  Health insurance plans will need to include these services without cost sharing beginning on or after August 1, 2012, depending on the specific start of the plan year.

For decades, many health plans in the U.S. did not cover contraceptives even when Viagra was covered for men.   This has been a point of contention for women's advocacy groups for years.   The regulation does contain an amendment that addresses the objections of religious institutions  that allows them to offer insurance to their employes that give them the choice of whether or not to cover contraception services similar to laws that exist in many states.

To read more on the additional women's health preventive services covered in the new guidelines click HERE.

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It's a shame it's taken so long for this option to even be thought of. Absolutely birth control should be covered. I agree with Bet. There are too many unwanted pregnancies. We all hear to often about abused children etc. I understand some religions are against this but that should be their personal option. It shouldn't be a decision made for all.

This is another example of discriminatory practices against women that have been tolerated by our government. Its appalling that men have had Viagra fully covered and women haven't had the benefit of contraception being fully covered. Unfortunately this fact is not shocking.

Women are right and have reason. Government should give women all her requests

For years insurers have covered Viagra for men. It's about time that they also covered birth control it is a small cost to pay for an unwanted pregnancy. We see it all to often people who don't or shouldn't have children get pregnant. Unfortunate but true many of these children become abused and or dead. Living with the thought that they were unwanted or unloved. Not that this always is the case but lets at least get with the times and realize this does happen and do what we can to prevent it!

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