New Federal Guidelines Require Insurers To Cover Contraception09:00

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Insurers will have to cover the cost of prescribed birth control pills. (vociferous./Flickr)
Insurers will have to cover the cost of prescribed birth control pills. (vociferous./Flickr)

A major goal of the federal health care law is to prevent illness, not just treat it.

With that in mind, the Department of Health and Human Services asked the Institute of Medicine (IOM), an advisory body, to come up with a list of effective preventive health services for women.

The recommendations included the following:

  • Screening for gestational diabetes
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) testing as part of cervical cancer screening for women over 30
  • Counseling on sexually transmitted infections
  • Counseling and screening for HIV
  • Contraceptive methods and counseling to prevent unintended pregnancies

Naturally, the last bullet point — contraceptive methods and counseling — received the most attention from supporters and detractors alike.

One of those federally approved birth control methods includes the intra-uterine device or IUD.   An article in the June issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology revealed some striking statistics.  In 2008,  5.6 percent of American women chose an IUD to prevent unwanted pregnancy, up from 2.4 percent in 2002 and 1 percent in the 1980s and '90s.

We take a closer look at this sharp increase in IUD usage and the latest women's health news from Washington.



This segment aired on August 9, 2011.



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