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Planned Parenthood of New York City Celebrates Institute of Medicine's Recommendation That Birth Control Be Offered as a Preventative Service, Without Co-Payments (7/19/11)
(New York, NY) – The Institute of Medicine released a report today recommending that the Department of Health and Human Services require new health insurance plans to cover a range of services to women as a preventative service, without co-payments, including birth control, counseling for sexually transmitted diseases and HIV counseling and screening. The committee of experts appointed by the Institute named eight preventive services that women should get without co-pays. The Health and Human Services Department commissioned the report from the Institute, an independent organization that advises the federal government on health and medical matters. It is expected that HHS will adopt the regulations in the fall.
Simone Ward, Vice President of Public Affairs at Planned Parenthood of New York City, issued the following statement:
“This recommendation could quite possibly be the best advance we’ve seen for women’s health in the past decade. Birth control is an essential part of women’s reproductive health care, yet so many of our patients are unable to afford birth control. Is it any surprise that New York City’s rate of unintended pregnancy is at 61%?
If HHS adopts this recommendation, it would eliminate the most prohibitive barrier to basic health care. For too long, one’s financial status has had a direct influence on reproductive health. The Institute’s recommendation, on birth control as well as STD and HIV counseling and screening, would eliminate that barrier, and finally ensure that every woman, across the board, has access to the quality, reliable health care that she deserves.”
The eight recommendations include:
• screening for gestational diabetes
• HPV testing as part of cervical cancer screening for women over 30
• counseling on sexually transmitted infections
• counseling and screening for HIV
• contraceptive methods and counseling to prevent unintended pregnancies
• lactation counseling and equipment to promote breast-feeding
• screening and counseling to detect and prevent interpersonal and domestic violence
• yearly well-woman preventive care visits to obtain recommended preventive services
Since 1916, Planned Parenthood of New York City (PPNYC) has been an advocate for and provider of reproductive health services and education for New Yorkers. Serving nearly 50,000 clients annually, PPNYC’s health care centers in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Staten Island offer reproductive health services, including gynecological care, contraception, pregnancy testing, abortion, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, and HIV testing and counseling. Through a threefold mission of clinical services, education, and advocacy, PPNYC brings better health and more fulfilling lives to each new generation of New Yorkers. As a voice for reproductive freedom, PPNYC supports legislation and policies to ensure that all New Yorkers—and, in fact, people around the world—will have access to the full range of reproductive health care services and information.