Panel Recommends Coverage for Contraception

July 28, 2011 • Family Planning, Reproductive Health, United States, Daily Email Recap

Thanks to Elizabeth Westley of the International Consortium for Emergency Contraception for this article.  See

Panel Recommends Coverage for Contraception

By Robert Pear

Published: July 19, 2011

WASHINGTON – A leading medical advisory panel recommended on Tuesday that all insurers be required to cover contraceptives for women free of charge as one of several preventive services under the new health care law.

Obama administration officials said that they were inclined to accept the panel’s advice and that the new requirements could take effect for many plans at the beginning of 2013. The administration signaled its intentions in January when Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, unveiled a 10-year program to improve the nation’s health. One goal was to “increase the proportion of health insurance plans that cover contraceptive supplies and services.”

Administration officials, who say they hope to act on the recommendations by Aug. 1, are receptive to the idea of removing cost as a barrier to birth control – a longtime goal of advocates for women’s rights and experts on women’s health.

But the recommendations immediately reignited debate over the government’s role in reproductive health. Women’s groups and medical professionals applauded the recommendations while the Roman Catholic Church raised strenuous objections.

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