WOMEN'S PREVENTIVE CARE COVERAGE EXPANDED UNDER HEALTH REFORM

On August 1, 2011 the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released newly expanded guidelines for group health plans and health insurance issuers on coverage for preventive care services under the federal healthcare reform law. These new HHS guidelines focus on women's health issues and build on last year's announced list of preventive healthcare services that must be covered on a first dollar basis. In other words, these benefits must be covered at 100% with no co-payments, no deductibles, or other cost sharing. All non-grandfathered health plans (both insured and self-insured plans) must include these services without cost sharing for plan years beginning on or after August 1, 2012.

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