With the new healthcare plan that has been set in motion, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services the Affordable Care Act will give women control over their care offering free preventive services.
Approximately 47 million women will have access to eight new prevention related health care services without paying more. In the past the coverage for these preventive services was nil. Some insurance companies just did not put them onto health plans at all and others required a deductible or copayment to be paid.
The health care law states that these services should be covered starting on or after August 1, 2012. This a big step forward being that for the first time women will have access to more life-saving preventive care free of charge.
There are approximately 47 million women that are enrolled in health plans that must cover these new preventive services at no charge. This will empower women to make their own health decisions that will keep them healthy, catch potentially serious conditions earlier, and lower the cost of those medical bills. This new law takes the power away from the insurance companies or government entities to dictate what health care decisions are to be made for women.
The eight new preventive services that are to be offered are:
- Well-woman visits
- Gestational diabetes screening
- Domestic and interpersonal violence screening and counseling
- FDA-approved contraceptive methods, and contraceptive education and counseling
- Breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling
- HPV DNA testing for women 30 or older
- Sexually transmitted infections counseling
- HIV screening and counseling
These services were based on the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine which came from independent physicians, nurses, scientist, and other evidence-based research. All new health plans will now offer at no cost these services. The exceptions are group health plans and issuers that have maintained grandfathered status. They are not required to cover these services nor are certain nonprofit religious organizations, such as churches and schools. The Obama administration is working with employers giving flexibility and resources in implementing the health care law, priority being placed on the protection of women’s health.
Because of the Affordable Care Act, secure, affordable coverage is becoming a reality to all, men and children included. Services such as flu shots and other immunizations, screenings for cancers, high blood pressure and cholesterol, and depression are part of it all.
If there are questions about your eligibility of services that are of no extra cost to you under the Affordable Care Act here is a website you can defer to: www.healthcare.gov/prevention.