Reform Alert - News from the Blues' Office of National Health Reform

HHS issues guidelines on required women's preventive services

UPDATED: Aug. 09, 2011

Original: Aug. 3, 2010

Women's preventive services including checkups, contraceptives and certain screenings must be covered with no cost sharing when delivered by a network provider on plan years beginning on or after Aug. 1, 2012.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has released guidelines amending the preventive services Interim Final Rules to require coverage of women's preventive services, including well-woman visits, support for breastfeeding supplies and counseling, counseling for sexually transmitted infections, contraceptive methods and screening for gestational diabetes, HPV, HIV and domestic violence. 

The guidelines include a religious exemption from covering contraceptive services.

BCBSM is currently reviewing these guidelines and further communications will be forthcoming.

More information can be found at

The information on this website is based on BCBSM's review of the national health care reform legislation and is not intended to impart legal advice. Interpretations of the reform legislation vary, and efforts will be made to present and update accurate information. This overview is intended as an educational tool only and does not replace a more rigorous review of the law's applicability to individual circumstances and attendant legal counsel and should not be relied upon as legal or compliance advice. Analysis is ongoing and additional guidance is also anticipated from the Department of Health and Human Services. Additionally, some reform regulations may differ for particular members enrolled in certain programs such as the Federal Employee Program, and those members are encouraged to consult with their benefit administrators for specific details.