By Ken de la Bastide Kokomo Tribune
---- — [Editor’s note: With significant portions of the Affordable Care Act to be implemented starting on Jan. 1, 2014, the Kokomo Tribune is running a series that explores how the personal responsibility mandate, the expansion of Medicaid and the new health exchanges will affect consumers.]
Q: Will marketplace health plans cover contraceptives, nursing supplies for new mothers and diabetic supplies?
A: The Affordable Care Act requires marketplace plans to provide coverage for contraceptive methods, counseling for women and the cost of nursing and diabetic supplies.
The new health care law requires certain preventative health services and screenings to be covered in all new health insurance plans without cost-sharing, the Women’s National Law Center said. The full range of Federal Drug Administration-approved prescription contraceptive methods are included in the coverage.
Plans in the marketplace give women access to oral contraception, Depo-Provera and Nuvaring, contraceptive implants, diaphragms, and permanent contraceptive methods without paying a co-payment or having the costs applied to their deductibles.
Jennifer Lyons, a financial planner with Bucheri McCarty & Metz LLP, said the ACA marketplace plans are also required to provide counseling for expectant women.
“Most plans will cover breastfeeding supplies, equipment and counseling for pregnant and nursing mothers,” she said. “Diabetic testing strips will be covered.”
The coverage will remain in effect for the duration of breastfeeding and must cover the cost of a breast pump.
Some insurance plans may require pre-authorization from a doctor to ensure the proper services are provided, the federal website said.
Readers can submit their questions on the Affordable Care Act to firstname.lastname@example.org.