Sebelius to Class of '13: Good News, Obamacare Gives You Free Birth Control

By Taylor Knopf | May 30, 2013 | 4:52pm EDT

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and President Barack Obama. (AP)

( – Thanks to Obamacare, high school and college graduates of 2013 can look forward to “protections and benefits” that “give you greater control,” including birth control, said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a HealthCare Blog post to the class of 2013.

In the May 22 posting, “Class of 2013: Graduate with Peace of Mind,” Sebelius congratulated the new graduates and assured them that because of the Affordable Care Act they will have less to worry about in terms of health insurance.

“Bottom line: Because of the Affordable Care Act, you’ll be able to begin this next chapter of your life with the peace of mind and security health insurance provides,” said Sebelius.

Obamacare “provides protections and benefits that give you greater control of your health care,” she wrote. These include, she said, “Requiring most insurance plans to cover proven preventive services--like birth control and certain cancer screenings--without you paying a penny.”

Plan B, emergency contraceptive. (AP Photo)

In the list of preventive services covered under Obamacare for women, including pregnant women is contraception. The HHS defines this as “Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling, not including abortifacient drugs.”

While the list says “not including abortifacient drugs,” all FDA-approved contraceptives include emergency contraceptives such as Plan B and Ella (Ulipristal), which can cause the death of human embryos.

Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurers will be required to offer sterilizations without co-pays to “all women with reproductive capacity,” which includes girls as young as 12, the age at when girls usually start menstruating, according to the National Institutes of Health.

In her HealthCare Blog post, Sebelius also told graduates of 2013 that, because of Obamacare, they can stay on their parent’s health plan “until you turn 26, giving you the flexibility to make choices about your future without worrying about where you’re going to get health insurance.”

She also noted that health insurers, starting in 2014, cannot deny coverage "based on a pre-existing condition, like cancer, asthma, or acne, or making you pay more just because you are a woman."

In addition, the blog post advises graduates to sign up for " for updates" on coverage and financial assitance.

"Congratulations on your achievement!" concluded Sebelius.

Michael W. Chapman contributed to this report.

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