News release

Mike Kreidler
Washington state Insurance Commissioner

Contact Public Affairs: 360-725-7055

07/26/2012

Women get preventive care with no cost-sharing beginning Aug. 1

OLYMPIA, Wash. – One of the popular early reforms under the Affordable Care Act included coverage for preventive services with no co-pays, deductibles or coinsurance. Beginning Aug. 1, this benefit expands to cover additional preventive services for women. Anyone enrolled in an individual health plan will get this new benefit Aug. 1. People with employer-sponsored health plans will see the new benefit when their plan renews.

“Women deserve meaningful health coverage,” said Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler. “Eliminating cost-sharing for early, preventive care increases the likelihood that women could access medical services early, before conditions become more serious.”

Specific health services for women that now require no cost-sharing include:

  • Well-woman visits
  • Gestational diabetes screening
  • HPV testing
  • Counseling for sexually transmitted infections
  • Counseling and screening for HIV
  • Domestic violence screening
  • Breastfeeding supplies
  • Contraceptives

These benefits apply to non-grandfathered plans – meaning plans that you or your employer enrolled in after March 23, 2010, when the Affordable Care Act was signed into law.

Some employers such as churches, other houses of worship, and similar organizations are exempt from covering contraceptives for their employees because of religious objections.

Also, the federal government is proposing regulations to address the objections of non-profit religious organizations that don’t want to include contraceptives in their health plans. Under the proposed federal rule, these organizations will not have to subsidize the cost of contraceptives for their employees or refer them to organizations that provide contraceptives. The employer’s insurer will offer this coverage to the women directly, at no charge.

“Washington state has been a leader in insurance rights for women, mandating insurance coverage of contraceptives more than a decade ago,” said Kreidler.  “The Affordable Care Act expands these rights, giving women access to more coverage that directly affects their health and wellbeing.”

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Release #12-34