Health Insurance Companies Required to Cover STI, HIV Tests Aug. 2012
Why yes, I would like protection against STDs to be covered by my insurance. Thank you.
Good news for all you non-procreating fornicators. President Obama signed off on a coverage rule under the Affordable Care Act that requires insurance companies to cover co-pay fees for birth control starting Aug. 1, 2012.
America, fuck yeah.
All contraceptives, including FDA-approved devices like IUDs and even sterilization procedures, are fully covered. And if that wasn't enough, you won't have to pay to get your immunization vaccines or sexually transmitted infection (STI), HPV, DNA and HIV tests, either.
There was lots of chatter about birth control, with some of our favorite political pundits comparing spending $5-$25 (depending on your health plan) on co-pays for birth control to dropping $5-$25 (depending on your extraneous income) on a Frappuccino or new pair of shoes.
And let's not forget about the argument that the federal government making birth control free messes with our health and, essentially, the will of God. That was up in the clouds, too.
But it seems most relevant to me, at least, that this rule revision will make the STI tests we so often forgo completely free with a healthcare plan. It'll be so easy to check yourself you won't be able to find an excuse not to go.
(Granted, of course, this is only applicable and exciting for those of us fortunate enough to have/afford/be accepted for health insurance. But regardless, this is a big stride.)
It's not clear whether or not insurance companies will find ways to screw us (and not in the good way), raising premiums or creating new service fees, but in the meantime it gives us even more reason to start vying for health coverage.
It's also not clear whether or not we really can expect to see the change in our insurance coverage a year from now. Anything can happen.
We just hope opponents remember that even a visit to Planned Parenthood, with its government funding and income-based fee scale, can cost way more than even a week's worth of new shoes and Frappuccinos.
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