Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that, starting in 2013, health insurance companies cannot charge co-payments, co-insurance, or a deductible for women’s preventive services, like wellness visits, breastfeeding support, domestic violence screening and contraception. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said, "The Affordable Care Act helps stop health problems before they start. These historic guidelines are based on science and existing literature and will help ensure women get the preventive health benefits they need."

The HHS points out, "Before health reform, too many Americans didn’t get the preventive health care they need to stay healthy, avoid or delay the onset of disease, lead productive lives, and reduce health care costs. Often because of cost, Americans used preventive services at about half the recommended rate."

Joan Malin, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood NYC, says, "Today is a historic victory for women’s health and women across the country. The decision by HHS is monumental for millions of women who have struggled with the cost of birth control and other essential health-care services such as cervical cancer and HIV screening."