RENO, Nev. - A controversial portion of President Obama's signature health care legislation came into effect Wednesday. It requires private health insurance companies provide and FDA approved contraception to women without charge.
Senator Harry Reid said today marks the end to health care discrimination. Unfortunately, only a small portion of women will be affected by these new requirements.
Only women with a health insurance policy that began on or after August 1 will be exempt from making a co-payment on their birth control. Uninsured women will still have to pay full price.
Some health insurance companies will not be required to cover contraceptive due a grandfather clause in the Affordable Care Act. If your policy was in effect before March 2010, you may still need to make a co-payment until your policy is renewed.
Non-profit religious organizations are exempt from providing birth control. The insurance company; however, is required to make coverage available directly to women who work for a religious entity.
By this time next year, many of the exemptions will be eliminated, opening up coverage to more that 47 million women.
The law also stipulates that seven other preventative health services be provided to insured women for free. These include pre-natal care, domestic violence counseling, STI testing, and well-women checkups.
To find out if you are eligible for any of these free benefits, call your insurance company to see when they will extend coverage.
For more information on the preventative health services covered, visit www.healthcare.gov.