What does health care reform mean for women’s preventive care?
Who is this for?
This information can help you if you are a woman and want to know what preventive care is available under the new health care reform laws.
Let’s get real for a moment, ladies. We have different health care needs than men, especially when it comes to preventive care—Pap smears and mammograms, for example, not to mention the possibility of giving birth to another human being.
All of this stuff makes womanhood—and our health care needs—very unique.
And now, health care reform is recognizing more of those needs. How? And what does that mean for you? First, here’s some background information:
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the official name for health care reform) was signed into law on March 23, 2010. This law required that many health plans after September 23, 2010, cover some preventive care like mammograms and colonoscopies.
The best part? These plans are now required to cover some preventive care without charging you any deductibles, copay or coinsurance when you get care from one of our network doctors or medical professionals.
This is great news. Preventive care can help detect health problems sooner, so you can stay healthy and avoid higher health care costs. But as of August 1, 2012, plans will take preventive care even further for women.
As of August 1, you can expect these woman-specific services to be covered without paying a deductible, copay or coinsurance when they are performed by a network doctor or medical professional:
Gestational Diabetes screening
Pregnancy hormones can sometimes lead to higher glucose levels in your blood, and that can lead to a complicated delivery due to large birth size, a higher chance of developing type 2 diabetes later in life and more. If you’re pregnant, you can get screened when you’re 24-28 weeks pregnant and at your first prenatal visit if you’re identified to be at high risk for diabetes.
Early screening, detection and treatment of human papillomavirus has shown to help reduce the occurrence of cervical cancer. If you’re 30 or older, you’ll be able to get tested without paying a deductible, copay or coinsurance if the test is done by a network doctor, even if you have normal Pap smear results.
If you’re sexually active, you can get annual counseling and screening for HIV and counseling on sexually transmitted infections.
You can get education and counseling about birth control methods and sterilization procedures. FDA-approved, prescribed birth control and sterilization also may be covered at no cost. You just need to decide which one is best for you.
Breastfeeding support, supplies and counseling
Breastfeeding leads to healthier babies, but the cost of breast pumps and other nursing supplies can make it difficult to do. If you’re pregnant or just had a baby, you can get support and counseling from trained medical professionals along with access to breastfeeding equipment.
Domestic violence screening and counseling
You’ll be able to get screening and counseling for domestic violence to maintain healthy relationships and stay safe.