Starting August 1st*, Wisconsin women have much to celebrate as a new phase of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) now offers additional preventive health care coverage without financial barriers. According to the National Women’s Law Center, just four years ago, before the new heath care law was passed, one in four women reported that they didn’t get needed health care because they felt they couldn’t afford it.. Following passage of the law –in the fall of 2010 – certain preventive health care services, like mammograms, blood pressure screenings and other important preventive services, became available to women, with no extra financial burden, like co-pays or deductibles. In Wisconsin, 413,000 women have already been receiving these services without out-of-pocket barriers. As we celebrate a new set of services available to women, we will be blogging today through, August 1st, highlighting each new preventive health service.
Breastfeeding Supplies and Counseling
You might remember our blog post back in February discussing important provisions in the ACA regarding women and breastfeeding. If you missed it, we highlighted the law’s change to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that provides new mothers with a reasonable, private, place and adequate time for moms to express breast milk. Read more about this benefit, here.
Starting August 1st, new moms in Wisconsin will have even more to celebrate – breastfeeding counseling and supplies that will be more accessible and affordable. These new services available to women will include comprehensive breastfeeding support – education and counseling from trained lactation providers and breastfeeding supplies for mothers – all at no extra cost, like co-pays or deductibles.
The benefits to breastfeeding newborns are well-known, but access to information and supplies are an important factor when choosing whether or not to breastfeed. Breastfeeding is shown to decrease negative health outcomes after birth and prevent obesity and diabetes later in the child’s life. However, the aforementioned factors – access to appropriate information and the financial costs associated with breastfeeding equipment – can be a barrier to new moms. By making healthy choices – like breastfeeding – easier, more affordable and more accessible, Wisconsin women continue to win with the new benefits coming August 1st. For more Wisconsin-specific breastfeeding resources, check-in with Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health board member Dalvery Blackwell’s group, the African American Breastfeeding Network of Milwaukee, and other local coalitions.
Another important benefit for women is intimate partner violence screening and support, check in tomorrow to learn more.
* If you have questions about when these new benefits go into effect for your own private plan, please call the member services number on the back of your insurance card, or contact your employer’s benefits administrator for information about your current coverage.