Recently the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) updated its preventive services guidelines to expand the list of women’s preventive services that group health plans are required to cover under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Updated preventive services guidelines generally take effect for plan years beginning on or after one year from the date the updated guideline is issued. The updates take effect for plan years beginning in 2023.
The updated guidelines add one additional service: Preventing Obesity in Midlife Women. The guideline recommends counseling for midlife women aged 40 to 60 years with normal or overweight body mass index (BMI) to maintain weight or limit weight gain to prevent obesity.
In addition, the update revises the following five services:
- Contraception. Access for adolescent and adult women to the full range of contraceptives and contraceptive care that are FDA-approved, -granted or -cleared.
- Counseling for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). Behavioral counseling for sexually active adolescent and adult women at an increased risk for STIs.
- Well-woman Preventive Visits. At least one preventive care visit per year beginning in adolescence.
- Screening for HIV Infection. HIV screening tests for women aged 15 and older at least once during their lifetime, as well as earlier or additional screening based on risk.
- Breastfeeding Services and Supplies. Comprehensive lactation support services during the antenatal, perinatal and postpartum periods, as well as breastfeeding equipment and supplies.
- Updated women’s preventive services guidelines apply for plan years beginning in 2023.
- The updated guidelines add one new service: Preventing Obesity in Midlife Women.
- The update also revises five existing services: Breastfeeding Services and Supplies, Contraception, Screening for HIV Infection, Counseling for Sexually Transmitted Infections and Well-woman Preventive Visits.
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