Women stand to gain numerous benefits under Barack Obama’s health reform law, the Affordable Care Act. While many women have already seen their health insurance improve under the act and many more will benefit when the law becomes fully operational in 2014, August 1 marks an important deadline for the implementation of this landmark legislation. That’s when a regulation goes into effect that will phase in guaranteed coverage for a range of preventive services for women with no cost sharing, such as co-pays, deductibles, or co-insurance.
Number of preventive services women will get with no co-pays that will be phased in starting August 1 2014:
- Annual well-woman visits
- Screening for gestational diabetes
- Testing for the human papilloma-virus, or HPV
- Counseling for sexually transmitted infections
- Counseling and screening for HIV
- Contraceptive methods and counseling
- Breastfeeding support, supplies and counseling
- Screening and counseling for domestic and interpersonal violence
The number of women who have already received no-cost coverage of other preventive services under the Affordable Care Ac, such as Pap smears and mammograms, and who will gain access to these new services after August 2014 is expected to be 20.4 million.
These benefits are needed because the percentage of women who report delaying needed medical care because of cost is 52% and the percentage of women who report giving up basic necessities to pay for health care expenses is 32%.
Reproductive health is, however, still under attack. The number of representatives who voted in July 11, 2012 to repeal the Affordable Care Act and take away birth control and other preventive women’s service was 244, 239 of which were Republicans. The number of senators who voted for the Blunt Amendment on March 1, 2012, which would have let bosses deny birth control coverage to their employees was 48, 45 of which were Republicans.