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It's official: your insurance provider now has to cover your contraceptives

We reported last week that a leading U.S. medical advisory panel recommended that all insurers be required to cover contraceptives for women free of charge. Well, guess what? The Obama administration went for it! And we don’t mean the kind of “free” where you have to pay an annoying co-pay or other deductible. We mean 100% on the house. Let the celebratory protected boot-knocking begin!

The new law, which will take effect in January 2013, also guarantees free coverage of other preventive services for women, such as mammograms. Oh, and DNA testing for HPV as part of cervical cancer screening. And screening to detect domestic violence. And counseling and equipment to promote breast-feeding, including breast pumps. And ponies for everyone!

It gets even better. Insurance providers will be required to cover every single contraceptive method approved by the FDA, including sterilization procedures and…wait for it… emergency contraceptives including the Plan B pill. Halle-fucking-lujah. The only teeny tiny raindrop on our parade is that health plans offered by certain religious employers are exempt from the requirement to cover contraceptive services. But we’re not going to bitch about that right now – after all, even free ponies shit on the rug every now and then. (That said, if you’d like to voice your opposition to the exemptions, you can do it via Planned Parenthood’s website here.)

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