UNMC OBGYN responds to womens' health services ruling

Omaha, NE – A UNMC doctor of obstetrics and gynecology says new health insurance coverage guidelines will improve womens' health.

Health and Human Services issued the ruling last week. Many womens' preventive health services, including contraception, well woman visits, and screenings, must be covered without copays or deductibles starting August 1, 2012.

Dr. Carl Smith, chairman of UNMC's OBGYN department, says the ruling will improve the health of all women. He says some women can't afford essential health screenings now but will be able to when the new guidelines are in place.

Smith says making contraception available without copays is important to healthy, planned pregnancies. "We know that at least 40 to 50 percent of pregnancies in this country are unplanned, and that women who have unplanned pregnancies are at greater risk for having perinatal complications, they're at greater risk to seek pregnancy termination as an option, and if we can have pregnancies that are more planned, we can improve outcomes for both mothers and babies."

More information on the preventive services is available at