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Women's preventive care services to become exempt from cost sharing in August


WASHINGTON — Most new and renewed health plans will be required to cover preventive services for women without cost sharing starting in August, according to guidelines announced Friday by the Department of Health and Human Services.

HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the guidelines, part of the Affordable Care Act, saying that preventive services, including contraceptive services, would become available to insured women without co-pay, co-insurance or deductible starting Aug. 1.

HHS originally issued the rule last August, covering contraceptives, domestic violence screening and counseling, breast-feeding support and supplies, well-woman visits, testing for sexually transmitted infections — including HIV and human papillomavirus — and others. The rule exempts certain nonprofit religious organizations from covering contraceptive services.

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