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HHS bans co-pays for birth control, other services

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued new guidelines in August that require health insurance plans to cover eight different kinds of women’s preventive serv­ices without charging a co-payment or deductible. The serv­ices include birth control, well-woman visits, breastfeeding support, HIV screening, domestic violence screening and screening for gestational diabetes.

The requirements apply to insurance policies with plan years beginning on or after Aug. 1, 2012. For most employer plans, that means the effective date will be Jan. 1, 2013.

HHS issued the rules under authority of the Affordable Care Act health reform law. To learn more and find links to the HHS guidelines, go to www.theHRSpecialist.com/HHSwomen.

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