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Health News Florida

ACA Mandated Preventive Services for Women Kick Off

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Beginning Wednesday, most employers who provide health insurance must now cover women's birth control.

It's one of eight preventive services mandated by the Affordable Care Act – but not everyone’s excited about the new requirements.

There's continued opposition to this part of the federal health care overhaul.

The new rules mean insurance companies must start providing most women with free contraceptives.

They also must provide free screening for domestic violence, diabetes and STDs, and well-woman visits.

47 million women nationwide are expected to receive these services -- including more than one million women in Florida.

Some nonprofit organizations who oppose contraception are being given an extra year to comply.

Several Roman Catholic organizations are fighting a legal war against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services over the birth control provision.

Frank Murphy, Spokesperson for Diocese of St. Petersburg, says the church might stop offering health insurance to their 23 hundred employees if they're forced to provide birth control.

Instead, employees would receive money to find their own insurance.

"We will not provide health insurance that provides for abortions, sterilizations, and other drugs that induce abortions or contraceptives," Murphy says.

"How to get to where we got to be for our employees is another question, but we will not support, as church in conscious, the provision of those services."

The church hopes that during the one year extension, they will win the lawsuit and not have to comply.