An Estimated 47 million women can now benefit from eight new prevention-related health care services without paying more out of their own pockets thanks to provisions of the health care reform law – the Affordable Care Act of 2010.
Prior to the new rules in the Affordable Care Act, some insurance companies either did not cover these services at all or charged a co-pay for them. Under the new rules, most insurance plans will be required to provide these services free of charge starting at the policy’s next renewal date.
The new rule, announced on July 31 by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), applies to both individual private and employer-provided group health care insurance plans.
The eight prevention-related services are:
- Well-woman visits.
- Gestational diabetes screening that helps protect pregnant women from one of the most serious pregnancy-related diseases.
- 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 for sexually-active women.
- HIV screening and counseling for sexually-active women.
Certain group health plans that maintained “grandfathered status” after enactment of the Affordable Care Act will not be required to cover these services. In addition, certain nonprofit religious organizations, such as churches and schools, are not required to cover the services.
For women who are pregnant or nursing, the new preventive services include gestational diabetes screening as well as breast-feeding support, counseling and supplies. Health services already provided under the health care law include folic acid supplements for women who may become pregnant, Hepatitis B screening for pregnant women, and anemia screening for pregnant women.
Also See: How Health Care Reform is Helping Seniors
The new preventative services for women are just a few of the health care services now available free of extra charges to women, men, children and families under the Affordable Care Act. Some of these services include flu shots and other immunizations, screenings for cancers, high blood pressure and cholesterol, and depression. To learn more about the health care services you may be eligible for at no extra charge under the Affordable Care Act, visit the HealthCare.gov Prevention and Wellness website.
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