New Rules Make Insurers Cover Plan B, Birth Control

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The "morning-after pill" will soon be free to women who want it, along with any other FDA-approved form of birth control.

The Department of Health and Human Services announced Monday that health insurance plans that begin on or after Aug. 1, 2012 must cover these prescriptions with no co-pay or deductible.

"Half of the women, according to studies, forego or delay preventative care because they can't afford it," White House advisor Stephanie Cutter said.

Still, many conservatives oppose the new plan because they consider Plan B to be an abortion drug, and feel it shouldn't be so accessible.

Are the new guidelines a victory for women's health? CBN News spoke with Nicki Neily, executive director of the Independent Women's Forum, about this.  Click play for her comments following Heather Sells' report.

Luke Vanderbleek owns a pharmacy in Illinois where he dispenses drugs every day -- except the "morning-after pill" known as Plan B or Ella.

Like many pro-lifers, he considers the pill unethical because it can prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus.

"The product may work by stopping ovulation before a sperm meets an ovum, but the opportunity for that is very time-sensitive," he said.

The Obama administration assures that the new co-pay requirement will not apply to faith-based organizations that offer health insurance to employees. They will not be required to cover contraception services.

Other services like breast feeding supplies, annual physicals, and screenings for diabetes and HIV will also be covered with no out-of-pocket costs to patients.

The White House said the move will help women avoid health problems before they start.

The new rules, which are part of the Affordable Care Act, are scheduled to take effect entirely by Jan. 1, 2013.

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Heather Sells

Heather Sells

CBN News Reporter

Heather Sells enjoys reporting on a variety of issues for CBN News. Some of her recent stories have focused on religious liberties, technology, AIDS, overseas missions, domestic trafficking, and politics.  Follow Heather on Twitter @SellsHeather and "like" her at Facebook.com/HeatherSellsCBNNews.