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Federal Health Department Approves Free Birth Control & More

Under President Barack Obama's health care law a slew of new coverages were ruled on and approved earlier this week by the Federal Health Department, including the coverage of birth control by health insurance companies without copay. Birth control is just one element of preventive care coverage for women. Also to be covered without copay are breast pumps for nursing mothers, an annual "well-woman" physical, screening for the virus that causes cervical cancer and for diabetes during pregnancy, counseling on domestic violence, and more. According to this article in USA Today, roughly half of all pregnancies are unplanned, even though 90 million-plus prescriptions for contraceptives were dispensed in 2009, according the market analysis firm INS health. There are provisions in the ruling that would allow religious institutions to opt out of offering birth control coverage, which include the pill, intrauterine devices, the so-called morning-after pill, and newer forms of long-acting implantable hormonal contraceptives. The new requirements go into effect Jan. 1, 2013. For more, click here.

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