OB/Gyn Coverage Kicks in with Affordable Healthcare Act
August 3, 2012 § 1 Comment
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, being a woman just got a little less expensive. As of Aug 1st, the new provision of the law requiring insurers to provide women’s preventive services without a copay takes effect. Here’s a list of the important health services which are available without copay now, thanks to President Obama and the Affordable Healthcare Act.
Well-woman visits- All adult women will have access to an annual preventive care visit for pap smears, etc.
Gestational Diabetes Testing- In some women, pregnancy hormones block insulin from doing its job, causing Gestational Diabetes, which can result in serious complications for baby and mother if left untreated. All women who are 24 to 28 weeks pregnant, as well as those at high risk for the complication, will have access to Gestational Diabetes testing, allowing for earlier treatment and better pregnancy and maternal health outcomes.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) DNA Testing- HPV is a sexually transmitted virus that causes genital warts and is linked to certain forms of cervical cancer. While the Pap Smear, a test given at annual well-woman visits, identifies the virus, women over age 30 will have access to the more advanced HPV DNA test every three years, even if their Pap results are normal. This kind of early detection and screening has been shown to reduce the prevalence of cervical cancer.
STI counseling and HIV testing and counseling- Sexually active women will now have access to annual counseling on HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). These sessions help patients take control of their health and reduce risky behaviors.
Contraception and contraceptive counseling- Women will have access to all FDA approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling, though Morning After pill and other abortive medications are not included. Contraception and family planning are essential preventive services for women, as they are critical to appropriate birth spacing and intended pregnancy, which result in improved maternal health and birth outcomes.
Breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling- Pregnant and post-partum women will have access to comprehensive lactation support and counseling, as well as breastfeeding equipment. Breastfeeding has been shown to be an effective preventive measure which improves both maternal and infant health. However, in the past, the cost of nursing supplies and breast pumps has prevented many women from breastfeeding their children.
Domestic Violence Screening- All women will have access to screening and counseling for domestic and interpersonal violence.These screenings help detect abuse earlier, and improve women’s safety.
It is estimated that more than 45 million American women, including 20 million with private insurance and 25 million with Medicaid, will benefit from these expanded coverages.