How Obamacare Works for Women
Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act, is the single biggest advancement for women’s health in a generation. Obamacare makes it easier for those who are insured to get access to basic preventive care, covering these health services with no additional co-pay. Meanwhile, it makes it easier for uninsured individuals to get access to affordable health insurance that covers quality services.
Here are seven reasons why Obamacare Works for women:
1. 47 Million Women Will Receive Preventive Care with No Co-Pays
The numbers don't lie. It's been three years, and 20.4 million women with private health insurance have already received care without co-pay that they previously had to pay for. In addition, 24.7 million women covered under Medicare can now receive access to basic preventive care at no cost, including birth control, cancer screenings, well-woman exams, and screenings for diabetes and high blood pressure. That’s a better value for the health insurance women already pay for.
2. Affordable Access to Birth Control
Obamacare increases access to birth control. As of August 2012, insurance companies and employers (with the exception of churches and other places of worship) are required to cover contraception without any additional co-pays. It's no surprise that this is one of the most popular benefits of the health reform law — birth control use is nearly universal.
Ninety-nine percent of all sexually experienced American women have used it at some point in their lives — not to mention that 58 percent of women who use the birth control pill use it for health purposes other than pregnancy prevention. It's basic preventive care and can save women up to $600 per year.
3. More Access for More Women (especially Young Women)
More access means more healthy women. Under the law, access to affordable health insurance will become available for the nearly 12 million women of reproductive age (and nearly two million African-American women and more than 2.5 million Latinas) who will be newly eligible for insurance coverage. In the majority of cases, young women (and men) under the age of 26 will be able to remain on their parents' plans no matter if they are married, living with their parents, still in school, or looking for a job. Already 3.1 million young adults have been able to stay on their parents' insurance.
4. Being a Woman Will No Longer Be a Pre-Existing Condition
Obamacare protects women from insurance companies charging higher premiums, sometimes up to 150 percent more than men. Insurers will no longer be able to deny health care coverage because of a "pre-existing condition" such as breast cancer, high blood pressure, or diabetes. This is especially good news for women who have been denied coverage because some health insurers have claimed that even pregnancy or being a survivor of domestic violence is a pre-existing condition.
5. Preventive Care Covered=Healthier Women (and Lives Saved!)
By guaranteeing coverage of preventive care, such as lifesaving breast cancer screenings and immunizations without co-pays, Obamacare promotes the health of women. Additionally, all new health plans will be required to offer essential benefits for women, including maternity care (a benefit that many plans do not cover), reproductive care, and prescription care.
6. Your Insurance Company Can't Come Between You and Your Doctor
Every woman knows how important access to OB/GYN providers is to maintaining good health, but too many women have faced barriers to accessing them. Because of Obamacare, women will have guaranteed access to an OB/GYN provider without having to wait for a doctor's referral or approval from the insurance company. Women will have a choice of doctors.
7. Affordable Care for a Lifetime — No Annual or Lifetime Caps
Because of the health care law, millions of women will no longer have to worry about what happens if they get sick or have a pre-existing condition. Millions of women of reproductive age will receive premium tax credits under Obamacare. More than 4 million women of reproductive age will be eligible for tax-credits to make health insurance coverage through the marketplaces affordable. It’s a win-win-win!