HHS OKs birth control with no co-pay

By Sabriya Rice, CNN Medical Producer

Supporters also say covering contraception helps the government save money up front.

(CNN) — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced new guidelines in Washington Monday requiring health insurance plans beginning on or after August 1, 2012 to cover several women’s preventive services, including birth control and voluntary sterilization.

According to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius the decision is a part of the Affordable Care Act’s move to stop problems before they start. “These historic guidelines are based on science and existing literature and will help ensure women get the preventive health benefits they need,” she said in a news release.

In July, the Institute of Medicine issued the results of a scientific review of women’s health needs and provided recommendations on specific preventive measures to help them. Today HHS approved those recommendations.

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