Press Release of U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer

For Immediate Release:
August 1, 2011  
Washington D.C. Office (202) 224-3553

Boxer Praises Increased Access to Women's Health Services  

Range of Preventive Health Services Covered Under Private Health Insurance Plans with No Co-Pay or Deductible

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) praised new guidelines announced today by Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that require new health insurance plans to cover women’s preventive services such as annual well-woman checkups, domestic violence screenings and contraceptives without charging a co-pay or deductible.  

Senator Boxer said, “We know that women often delay or skip preventive health care because of the costs. After fighting for years in Congress to increase access to women’s health care, I am pleased that this decision will make important preventive care more affordable for millions of women and their families.” 

Last year, HHS issued a rule under the health care reform law requiring all new private health insurance plans to cover preventive services like colonoscopies, blood pressure checks and childhood immunizations without charging a co-pay, co-insurance or a deductible. Health care reform also made these preventive services free for seniors on Medicare.  

Today’s announcement builds on that progress by making sure women have access to a full range of preventive services recommended by the Institute of Medicine without cost sharing on new insurance plans starting in August 2012. These services include:

• well-woman visits 

• screening for gestational diabetes 

• human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA testing for women 30 years and older 

• sexually-transmitted infection counseling • human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) screening and counseling 

• FDA-approved contraception methods and contraceptive counseling 

• breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling 

• domestic violence screening and counseling  

Senator Boxer was an original co-sponsor of legislation by Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) which ensured that the preventive health care services that women need would be covered by the Affordable Care Act.