Starting today*, 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. Thanks for following as we celebrated a new set of services available to women!
Coverage is Here – Including Comprehensive Contraception Coverage!
Today’s the day we’ve been waiting for; it marks an exciting day for women across the country. It’s the day when new benefits included in the health care law begin going into effect. Nearly one million women in Wisconsin are likely to benefit from these provisions. These new benefits include a requirement that health plans must cover all FDA-approved forms of birth control including oral contraception (the pill), injectable birth control, the ring, contraceptive implants, diaphragms, cervical caps, and non-surgical permanent contraceptives without co-pays or having the costs applied to a deductible.
Additionally, the other benefits we have been blogging about since last week, also go into effect for new and renewing plans, including:
- Yearly Well-woman visits
- HIV screening and counseling
- Breastfeeding support and equipment
- Intimate partner violence screening and counseling
- Screening and counseling for STIs, including HPV
- Gestational Diabetes Screenings for pregnant women
Having access to preventive care, including affordable birth control is widely supported, and for good reason. Birth control allows women to protect their health and plan the timing and size of their families, which prevents a wide-range of pregnancy complications and promotes better health outcomes for women and children. It prevents unwanted pregnancies until a woman is ready to start of family, if she chooses to do so. Studies also show link between increased access to contraception and declines in maternal and infant mortality. For even more information on the benefits of birth control, the Guttmacher Institute recently launched a short, animated video titled “Benefits of Contraceptive Use in the United States“
Affordable birth control means healthier women and families and access to affordable women’s preventive health services also plays a crucial role towards this goal. The Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health is so excited that these vital services will become more accessible and affordable to women. Are you excited for these new preventive health services for women? Tweet about it with us: @healthywomenWI using the shared hashtag #aug1.
* 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. Additionally, you can view FAQs about this topic, courtesy of the National Women’s Law Center.