Here’s the most exciting news since your tax refund (at least if you’re a woman): Starting Aug. 1, you could be eligible for free birth control — “the Pill,” condoms, NuvaRing, you name it. Remember Obama mentioning last year that health plans would have to cover preventive services for women? That day has finally come — and you can thank that damn Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that everyone keeps complaining about.
But unfortunately, it’s unlikely you can sashay into Walgreens without your wallet just yet. Our favorite new piece of legislation only applies to new and/or re-enrolled plans — meaning you don’t get to walk away from the pharmacy counter bill-free until your plan is renewed again (or you get a new plan) after tomorrow.
Depending on your employer, your plan year could start tomorrow, in January or later in the year. If you’re enrolled under a student health plan or work for a university, you might be in luck; many school and university healthcare plan years begin around Aug. 1, according to Jezebel.
But back to the good news: We’re not just talking about free contraception, in case you forgot the details announced last summer. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, health plans beginning after Aug. 1 will cover the following preventive services:
If you weren’t lucky enough to have a health plan that starts on Aug.1 of every year — or if you're insured through a religious institution that disapproves of the new law — see below for when the new rule applies to you: