The Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare, has always been helpful to women and their families. But as of Aug. 1, it just got better! Now many preventive health care services have to be provided to women through your insurance at no cost to you.
These services include contraceptives, breastfeeding supplies and gestational diabetes screening for pregnant women, prenatal care, routine breast and pelvic exams and pap tests to detect cancerous processes in the cervix. Other benefits include testing for the human papillomavirus, screening and counseling for sexually transmitted diseases and infections, and screening and counseling for domestic and interpersonal violence.
There were already benefits for women in effect from the healthcare-reform law which include mammograms for women over age 40 and bone-mineral-density screenings for osteoporosis for women over age 60.
Studies have demonstrated that women without insurance or those with high copayments often delayed or didn’t get preventive care. Studies have also demonstrated that finding any of these problems and getting care in the early stages reduces deaths. The benefits for pregnant women are known to result in less premature births and more healthy mothers and babies. This is part of how the Affordable Care Act will reduce health care costs. If there is not a problem or a disease is found and treated early, treatment will be less expensive.
Women, we need to keep the Affordable Care Act and take good care of ourselves. Let me point out for the male readers that many preventive benefits have always been available to you. Women are just now catching up on their unique health care needs.