Women’s Preventive Services: A Slippery Slope to Higher Health Care Costs

Kathryn Nix /

Yesterday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) added new preventive care measures specific to women’s health to the long list of provisions that will drive up premiums under Obamacare. Not only will the new regulations infringe upon Americans’ freedom to choose a health plan in keeping with their values, as we explained here, but they serve as a precursor to more pricey regulations to come.

HHS issued regulations last July on the preventive measures that insurers must cover with no cost-sharing, but as part of the new law, the agency was to review preventive services specific to women’s health and could include further guidelines, which were issued yesterday. Last week, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released its recommendation that the new regulations should include the full range of contraceptives, including sterilization procedures. Also to be covered with no cost-sharing were well-woman visits, screening for gestational diabetes, HPV DNA testing, STI counseling, HIV screening and counseling, breastfeeding support, and domestic violence screening. (more…)