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PPACA: Women's Preventive Services Rules Take Effect

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Non-grandfathered individual health insurers and group health plans are facing a new batch of benefits mandates.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will start applying new women’s preventive services requirements Wednesday.

HHS officials developed the women’s preventive services benefits package to push ahead with efforts to implement a preventive services provision included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA).

The PPACA provision requires non-grandfathered issuers and plans to provide coverage for a package of preventive services designed by the Institute of Medicine, a federal advisory panel, and the HHS Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) without imposing co-payments, deductibles or other cost-sharing payment requirements on the patients.

The HHS women’s preventive services package includes:

  • Well-woman visits.
  • Gestational diabetes screening.
  • Domestic and interpersonal violence screening and counseling.
  • FDA-approved contraceptive methods, and contraceptive education and counseling.
  • Breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling.
  • HPV DNA testing, for women 30 or older.
  • Sexually transmitted infections counseling for sexually-active women.
  • HIV screening and counseling for sexually-active women.

HHS is excluding houses of worship and some types of religious employers from the contraceptive services mandate, but it is applying the mandate to hospitals, universities and other nonprofit organizations with strong ties to religious groups.

Other PPACA preventive benefits coverage benefits provisions started to take effect in September 2010.