Birth Control May Become Free After Panel’s Recommendation

WASHINGTON ( – Health experts advising the federal government have recommended that health insurance companies be required to cover birth control for women as preventive service, with no copayment.

The Institute of Medicine recommendations also included diabetes tests during pregnancy and screening for the virus that causes cervical as recommended preventive services for women.

The findings were issued as the government begins to implement parts of the federal health care reform law. The law requires most health plans to cover preventive care for both sexes, but the women’s health recommendations were sent to a nonpartisan institute for review.

The final decision from Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is expected to be issued soon.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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