Because of the Affordable Care Act, most health plans cover recommended women’s preventive services, including contraception prescribed by a health care provider, without charging cost sharing, such as a co-pay, co-insurance, or deductible. The independent Institute of Medicine (IOM) provided recommendations to the Department of Health and Human regarding which preventive services help keep women healthy and should be considered in the development of comprehensive guidelines for preventive services for women.
All Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures and patient education and counseling for women with reproductive capacity, as prescribed by a provider, must be provided without cost-sharing. There are proven health benefits for women that come from using contraception. In fact, nearly 99 percent of women in the United States have relied on contraception at some point in their lives, but more than half of women between the ages of 18 and 34 have struggled to afford it2.
The IOM guidelines which were incorporated into the Health Resources Services Administration’s (HRSA) Women’s Preventive Services Guidelines include contraceptive methods and counseling to include “all Food and Drug Administration approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity.”
The Affordable Care Act3 also ensures that recommended preventive care, including all FDA-approved contraceptive services prescribed by a health care provider, will be provided to women without cost-sharing, while also ensuring certain non-profit religious organizations that object to contraceptive coverage on religious grounds do not have to contract, arrange, pay, or refer for such coverage for their employees or students.
Frequently Asked Questions regarding contraceptive services can be found here.
2 "Fact Sheet: Women’s Preventive Services and Religious Institutions,” The White House, February 10, 2012 www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/02/10/fact-sheet-women-s-preventive-services-and-religious-institutions.
3 And its implementing regulations.
Content last reviewed on August 15, 2016