Women In The US, Learn How Your Healthcare Is Changing
In the United States, August 1, 2012 marks the implementation of many additional provisions as part of the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare). This is great step forward in healthcare for American women, as many of these services directly affect us. Make sure you know what additional benefits are now available to you. New insurance plans must cover the following without co-pays or co-insurance:
- FDA-approved methods of birth control that have been prescribed by a doctor. This includes The Pill, IUDs and many more.
- “Well-Woman” annual doctor visits, i.e. your annual checkup.
- Screening and counseling for several STDs including HPV and HIV. Pap smears must be covered under the new plans as well as mammograms for women over 40.
- Support for moms—cost of renting breast-feeding equipment, counseling, etc.—is now covered.
- Screening and counseling for domestic violence.
You may not see these changes right away, as plans are not required to incorporate these provisions until the new policy year on January 1, 2013. Companies can also continue to charge you a co-pay if your birth control is name-brand and there are generic options available. In addition, if your healthcare is in any way involved with a religious organization, some of these changes may not apply. Be sure to keep yourself informed so you don’t pay more than you have to, if anything, for your heathcare! The Affordable Care Act will continue enacting change in the American healthcare system until 2014, in which it will be illegal to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions or charge higher premiums to women, among other changes.
If you’re a woman in the US, are you excited for these changes? Do you think they will have a positive impact on your life and your healthcare? Leave us a comment and share!
Written by Caroline Slavin
Follow her on Twitter @hpcaro.