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ACOG Statement Regarding Coverage of Preventive Services

May 11, 2015

Washington, DC — Mark S. DeFrancesco, MD, President of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), released the following statement regarding the Administration’s Frequently Asked Questions document regarding preventive services.

“ACOG thanks President Obama, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Burwell, Department of Labor Secretary Perez, and Department of Treasury Secretary Lew for taking steps to ensure insurance coverage of needed preventive services for women, including contraception. We also applaud the Administration’s support for National Women’s Health Week.

“Preventive services play an important role in helping to maintain health and avoid conditions that can severely diminish quality of life. This also helps to lower overall health care costs and promote productivity. Without question, an emphasis on preventive care doesn’t just mean healthier patients, it means a healthier society.

“Obstetrician-gynecologists know first-hand that contraception is an essential preventive service. It helps to avoid unintended pregnancy and also allows patients to control existing conditions before becoming pregnant, which means healthier pregnancies. Moreover, birth control can have important medical benefits outside of contraception.

“That’s why we were pleased that contraception was included as a free preventive health service under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Unfortunately, recent research has shown that not all insurance companies are providing adequate coverage for all FDA-approved methods of birth control.

“Moreover, any medical management imposed by insurers should be of a reasonable nature, and should also defer to health care providers’ expertise when prescribing any preventive service, including contraception, to patients. We are grateful to the Administration for acknowledging that too often, medical management is used by some insurers as a barrier to access for patients.

“ACOG hopes that today’s clarification from the Administration will help ensure that all FDA-approved methods of birth control are covered by insurance companies, as mandated by the Affordable Care Act, so that every woman is able to get the contraceptive that is right for her. We will continue to monitor insurance coverage practices regarding preventive services, including contraceptives, and look forward to continued work with HHS to ensure full and appropriate implementation of the ACA’s mandates.”

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College), a 501(c)(3) organization, is the nation’s leading group of physicians providing health care for women. As a private, voluntary, nonprofit membership organization of more than 58,000 members, The College strongly advocates for quality health care for women, maintains the highest standards of clinical practice and continuing education of its members, promotes patient education, and increases awareness among its members and the public of the changing issues facing women’s health care. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a 501(c)(6) organization, is its companion organization. www.acog.org

American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
409 12th Street SW, Washington, DC  20024-2188 | Mailing Address: PO Box 70620, Washington, DC 20024-9998