The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued final rules that confirm health care insurers must officially cover preventative health services for women, including contraceptives and HIV testing, under the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. health care reform, according to an HHS statement. An initial decision in 2011 provided prevention services and contraception approved by the Food and Drug Administration without charging copayments, coinsurance or a deductible. In terms of prevention services, HHS has built in coverage for sexually transmitted infection counseling, HIV screening and counseling, contraceptives, domestic violence screening, human papillomavirus (HPV) testing and other preventative health issues. The services will be offered at no cost through insurance plans beginning or after August 1, 2012. HHS will allow religious institutions that offer insurance to their employees another year to comply with the law.

To read the HHS statement, click here.