Hey Vpers, the Affordable Health Care Act goes into effect today. Rather than parse and paraphrase what that means for you, I'm pulling a Lehrer (although admittedly doing so makes it not-a-Lehrer) and lifting the below information straight (with some cuts) from HealthCare.Gov.
Under the Affordable Care Act, women’s preventive health care services – such as mammograms, screenings for cervical cancer, and other services – are already covered with no cost sharing under some health plans. The Affordable Care Act also made recommended preventive services free for people on Medicare....
Beginning on Aug. 1, about 47 million women will now have guaranteed access to additional preventive services without paying more at the doctor’s office for policies renewing on or after August 1, 2012.
Under the law, many private plans also must cover regular well-baby and well-child visits without cost sharing. With the addition of these new benefits, the Affordable Care Act continues to make wellness and prevention services affordable and accessible for more and more Americans.
Women and Preventive Health
When it comes to health, women are often the primary decision-maker for their families and the trusted source in circles of friends. They are also key consumers of health care. Women have unique needs and have high rates of chronic disease, including diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
While women are more likely to need preventive health care services, they often have less ability to pay. On average they have lower incomes than men and a greater share of their income is consumed by out-of-pocket health costs. A report by the Commonwealth Fund found that in 2009 more than half of women delayed or avoided necessary care because of cost. Removing cost-sharing requirements lets women decide which preventive services they’ll use and when. In fact, one study found that the rate of women getting a mammogram went up as much as 9% when cost sharing was removed. In addition to saving lives by catching cancer early, mammograms can also protect families from skyrocketing medical bills that result from treating the advanced stages of the disease.
New Comprehensive Coverage for Women’s Preventive Care
The Affordable Care Act helps make prevention affordable and accessible for all Americans by requiring new health plans to cover and eliminate cost sharing for preventive services recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, and the Bright Futures Guidelines recommended by the Academy of Pediatrics.
The law also requires