Had a question recently regarding the August 1, 2012, preventive services for women requirement & the timeline of the requirement. Basically I've heard the following:
Becky: "hey, my friend Judy is now receiving well-woman visits at no cost, but I am not. What gives?"
This scenario is likely due to the fact that Judy is on a medical plan with a plan year that just started - for this example let's assume the plan year started September 1, 2012.
A common misconception is that the August 1, 2012, preventive services requirement literally became effective on August 1, 2012. To the contrary, the 8 new services must be covered, with no cost-sharing to plan participants, in plan years starting on or after August 1, 2012. In short, if your plan year is July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2013, then the plan is not required to cover these new items until the new plan year starts in 2013. But, in the example above, Judy's plan year started just after August 1st, hence the new preventive services coverage in her plan.
As an aside, the 8 preventive services required to be covered, with no cost-sharing to eligible participants are:
1. Breastfeeding: comprehensive support and counseling from trained providers, as well as access to breastfeeding supplies, for pregnant and nursing women;
2. Contraception: Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling, not including abortifacient drugs;
3. Domestic and interpersonal violence screening and counseling for all women;
4. Gestational diabetes screening for women 24 to 28 weeks pregnant and those at high risk of developing gestational diabetes;
5. Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) screening and counseling for sexually active women;
6. Human Papillomaviurs (HPV) DNA test: high risk HPV DNA testing every three years for women with normal cytology results who are 30 or older;
7. Sexually transmitted infections (STI) counseling for sexually active women; and
8. Well-woman visits to obtain recommended preventive services for women under 65 years of age.
So there is no confusion - Becky and Judy are fictional plan participants.