By Elise Viebeck - 01/09/14 02:34 PM EST
Drugs to prevent breast cancer will be covered without cost-sharing for women at increased risk of the disease, thanks to ObamaCare, federal health officials announced.
The Department of Health and Human Services released guidance Thursday directing most insurance plans to cover medications to prevent breast cancer for free starting this fall.
The directive expands ObamaCare's preventive services mandate, which outlines medical care insurance plans must provide to patients without co-pays.
Supporters of the policy argue it would improve public health while reducing healthcare costs, as disease is generally cheaper to prevent than to treat.
Opponents say the mandate is onerous and could increase costs in other ways. Some religious conservatives also take issue with the requirement that plans cover a range of birth control methods. The Supreme Court will hear arguments in a related case on March 25.
Thursday's announcement followed a recommendation by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent medical advisory group sponsored by the federal government.
The panel said in September that women at higher risk for breast cancer take drugs like tamoxifen and raloxifene, which have been shown to cut the incidence of the disease.