Read more at RH Reality CheckIn a new--and much-anticipated--report, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) is recommending that health reform guidelines for preventive care to be developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) include a full range of reproductive health services, including all methods of contraception approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) without a co-pay. In developing these and other recommendations for women's preventive health care, the IOM took into account the recommendations of medical bodies and of peer-reviewed studies demonstrating important health needs and outcomes.
Apart from coverage of contraceptive supplies, the IOM also breaks new ground with recommendations on inclusion of screening for gender-based and domestic violence, education, testing, and counseling for sexually transmitted infections, and inclusion of other essentials to a broader package of "well-woman" care as part of basic insurance coverage.
In total, the IOM report recommends inclusion of eight preventive health services for women at no cost under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA). The ACA requires plans to cover the services listed in HHS's comprehensive list of preventive services. At the agency's request, an IOM committee identified critical gaps in preventive services for women as well as measures that will further ensure women's health and well-being.
HHS has set its own self-imposed deadline of August 2nd for release of these final guidelines.