May 24, 2013

What Women Need to Know About Health Care Reform and Insurance Coverage

In the Spring issue of Ms. magazine, Cindy Pearson, executive director of the National Women’s Health Network, outlines 10 Things Women Need To Know About Health Reform. Some final provisions of the Affordable Care Act are set to take effect in January 2014; Pearson explains how these affect women’s access to coverage, including protections against higher insurance costs for women.

For example, midwives and birth centers can now be covered by Medicaid, and Pearson provides important details on preventive health services now covered for women:

All insurers now have to cover well-woman exams (thanks to the lobbying efforts of women senators such as Barbara Mikulski), contraception and breastfeeding (even the expensive stuff such as IUDs and breast pumps), cancer screening such as mammograms and Pap smears, domestic-violence screening and STI counseling. If you’re working for Catholic Charities or a religiously affiliated hospital, however, don’t bother asking your HR department about any of this: The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has created a work-around so that the bishops don’t have anything to do with your contraceptive coverage.

The print article includes a sidebar (inadvertently left out of the online article) on the not-so-good news: the limitations of the ACA for immigrants and Native Americans, and the political struggles over Medicaid expansion. Check out the full print article for this information and more on enrolling for health coverage, the effects of the ACA on LGBT families, and other issues.

Want more details on health reform and women’s health? Kaiser Family Foundation has published a comprehensive fact sheet on women’s health insurance coverage and an issue brief on Medicaid’s role for women across the lifespan. Plus, you can take this quiz to test your knowledge on women’s health coverage.

The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health has also produced a fact sheet outlining some of the good and not-so-good aspects of the Act.

Over at the National Partnership for Women and Families, you’ll find 10  Reasons the Affordable Care Act is Good for Moms — a look at how mothers and mothers-to-be, as well as sisters, daughters, grandmothers and aunts, are getting better access to quality, affordable health care — and a state-by-state analysis of how Medicare benefits women.

Below, nurses provide a quick, clear explanation of the Affordable Care Act.

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One Response to “What Women Need to Know About Health Care Reform and Insurance Coverage”

  1. Maya Says:

    Good to know about these Affordable Care Act reforms. I took the quiz to test my knowledge on Women’s Health Coverage and got 8/10. Should have gotten a better score.

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