Phoenix, Arizona (PRWEB) April 01, 2013
When it comes to health, women are often the primary decision-maker for their families and the trusted source in circles of friends. They are also key consumers of health care.
Under the Affordable Care Act, certain preventative services for women must be fully covered under most health insurance plans, meaning no copay, deductible, or co-insurance. The freebies kick in when plans renew, typically in January 2013.
While women are more likely to need preventive health care services, they often have less ability to pay. On average they have lower incomes than men and a greater share of their income is consumed by out-of-pocket health costs. A report by the Commonwealth Fund found that in 2009 more than half of women delayed or avoided necessary care because of cost. Removing cost-sharing requirements lets women decide which preventive services they’ll use and when.
It has been estimated that 49% of all pregnancies are unintended. Increased availability of contraception and compliance will result in a decrease in the number of unintended pregnancies. In fact, one study found* that the rate of women getting an IUD went up as much as 9% when cost sharing was removed. For oral contraceptives, vaginal rings, and injections it was found that the increased utilization was explained by improved compliance of existing users and an increase in the number of users. The average number of scripts per user increased as cost sharing decreased. Good news if your family is complete. The most notable is the dramatic increase in Essure, currently the most popular method of female permanent contraception or sterilization. Women have jumped to take advantage of this procedure with very little cost and embrace the freedom it provides.
Other additional women’s preventive services that American women once had to pay for will no longer require a copay include:
The health care law also protects women by providing insurance options, covering preventive services, and lowering costs:
What else is covered?
The new law requires private insurance companies to cover a wide range of preventive services, including well-woman visits (Pap tests, cancer screenings, etc), bone density screening, diabetes screening, and prenatal care without co-pays.
Before the health care law, too many Americans didn’t get the preventive care they need to stay healthy, avoid or delay the onset of disease, lead productive lives, and reduce health care costs. Often because of cost, Americans used preventive services at about half the recommended rate. Since August 1, 2012, about 47 million women gained guaranteed access to additional preventive services without paying more at the doctor’s office. With the addition of these new benefits, the Affordable Care Act continues to make wellness and prevention services affordable and accessible for more and more Americans.
The Law Means Better Health and Fewer Health Disparities for Women
Not all Americans have equal access to health care. By eliminating cost sharing requirements, the Affordable Care Act helps improve access to comprehensive quality health care for all women. Secure, affordable coverage is quickly becoming a reality for millions of American women and families. While all this is great news, critical opposition is coming from all directions to reverse or strip these benefits away. Our advice is to take advantage of it while you can and available to you! Good things rarely last forever.
*Impact of Healthcare Reform on Contraception Costs for Commercially-Insured Programs by Dieguez, Fitch and Pyenson.
Kerisma Center – Understanding Women is located in Phoenix, Arizona and its mission is to promote health and prevent disease in women by providing all women who come to us with the highest quality care and with the information needed to make knowledgeable decisions about their health. Because a woman's gynecological health needs constantly change throughout her life, Kerisma’s team of medical professionals work together to diagnose, educate, support and treat a wide spectrum of conditions for all phases of life. Our commitment to providing compassionate, personalized care places Understanding Women on the leading edge of women's healthcare.
All services are provided under the guidance of owner and medical director, Dr. Keri Sweeten. Dr. Sweeten is well-known in the Valley of the Sun for providing women with the safe, effective quality-of-life procedures they want and need.
Media Contact: Manuel Gil del Real
Title: General Manager, MGR Consulting Group