Monday, February 27, 2012

Gender Bias?

The folks at KHN give us a bit of clarification on what is, and what isn't preventive contraception.
1) Are male-based contraceptive methods, such as vasectomies or condoms, covered by the rule?
An HHS official said on Friday that women’s preventive services guidelines apply to women only.
Sounds like someone is playing the gender card. Is it because the HHS Secretary is a woman? Does she have something against men?
2) Are over-the-counter products like female condoms, spermicides, sponges covered by the rules and, if so, will they require a prescription and how will insurers reimburse policyholders for purchases at retail stores?
Products that must be covered without cost-sharing include over-the- counter contraceptives when they are prescribed by doctors, the HHS official said Friday
So if a woman considers a relationship "sponge worthy" she must make a doctors appointment and get a prescription to buy an OTC birth control device.

Is that considered a FREE preventive care visit?
3) If a hospital stay is required for surgical procedures, such as when a women gets her tubes tied, would the procedure be covered without cost sharing?

Insurers say it is not clear if hospitalization or complications that might occur from surgery would be covered without the patient paying a co-payment or a deductible because they are not considered preventive.
Sounds like the free colonoscopy debate.
5) Who will be covered for contraceptives without co-payments?

The package of women’s preventive care benefits must be offered in all new insurance policies sold to individuals and employers starting Aug. 1, as well as in most policies that renew afterwards on the date that they renew. There is an exception for insurance provided by certain nonprofit religious employers who object to birth control.
Some groups, such as Catholic affiliated organizations, get a pass. But Obama said if an employee of a Catholic organization wants a free contraceptive the carrier must provide it for her.

Seems to me that Washington needs to stay out of our bedrooms.
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