August 1 is an important milestone for health care reform law, and more importantly, for women. Why?
Because starting August 1, 2012, the Affordable Care Act is making it easier to be a woman. (Join our policy call tonight to learn more!)
On August 1, all new insurance plans will have to start covering important preventative health care services for women without co-pays, such as…
- Screening and counseling for domestic violence
- Annual well-woman visits
- Breastfeeding supports, such as counseling and equipment (including rental of breast pumps)
- Screening for gestational diabetes
- HPV testing
- STI counseling
- HIV screening and counseling
- Preventive care we need to stay healthy, like contraception and intimate partner violence screenings, without costly co-pays that can make health coverage too expensive to use;
- Protection against discriminatory health insurer practices, like charging women more than men for the same policy or refusing to cover people with pre-existing conditions.
- Security in knowing that insurers can’t cancel our coverage when we get sick, refuse to cover our medical care if it’s too expensive or drastically increase our premiums.
The internationally respected experts at the Institute of Medicine recommended that covering these preventive services without imposing cost barriers would significantly improve women’s health. They recognized that women have particular health needs and that making sure women can get the care we need will affect the overall well-being of our families and communities.
And the Affordable Care Act acts on that expert advice, making health care more affordable for women and our families by requiring insurance companies to cover women’s preventive health services without additional charges, like co-pays and deductibles. Starting in the fall of 2010, all new health plans already began covering mammograms, screenings for cervical cancer and other important preventive health services at no additional cost. As soon as August 2012, the same requirement will be expanded to include the services, listed above.
Join our special policy call tonight, 6PM with Rebecca Foley of WOMEN’S Way to learn more about how the affordable preventive care guaranteed by our new law will create a powerful tool for improving the health of all women.