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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Health Care Reform Expands Health Care Services for Women

The Affordable Care Act provides important benefits to women. Not only will millions of women in the United States get health insurance coverage but the coverage will increase to include more preventative health care services.

Under the new health care reform law, preventative care services must be covered without co-pay or deductible. Initially, this included mammograms and screenings for cervical cancer. In August 2011, the law expanded to also include well-woman visits, support for breastfeeding equipment, contraception, and domestic violence screening and counseling.

It is estimated that 47 million women will have access to additional women's preventive services at no cost to them as a result of the Affordable Care Act. This means more health care with no increase in doctor bills. In total, eight new preventative services have been included in guaranteed coverage. However, some insurance companies have advised that women may need to check with their health care provider so they are not billed for these services because they are preventative, not diagnostic.

The eight new services include well woman visits, diabetes screenings for pregnant women, domestic violence screening and counseling, FDA-approved contraceptive products, breastfeeding support and supplies, HIV and STD screening, and HPV DNA testing, for women 30 or older.

The expansion of health care services for women is expected to result in more women being able to afford preventative health care that will increase their chances of remaining healthier and decrease the risk of developing more serious health problems that will be more costly in the end.
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