Among its many provisions, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires that non-grandfathered group health plans must provide coverage for and are prohibited from imposing cost-sharing on certain women's preventive health services. The Department of Labor (DOL), Department of the Treasury, and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued interim final regulations identifying a number of specific women's preventive care services subject to the coverage and no-cost sharing requirement. The required services identified by the recent guidance include: well-woman visits; screening for gestational diabetes; Human Papillomavirus testing; counseling for sexually transmitted infections; counseling and screening for HIV; contraception and contraceptive counseling; breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling; and screening and counseling for interpersonal and domestic violence. In recognition that the requirement to provide contraceptive services may conflict with the beliefs of some religious employers, plans established or maintained by religious employers are exempt from the requirement to provide contraceptive services.
Non-grandfathered health plans must provide coverage without cost-sharing consistent with these new regulations in the first plan year that begins on or after August 1, 2012.