Friday, September 7, 2012

ACA Update: Women’s Health


By Emily McKinley, Health Information Specialist

Women across the United States are celebrating increased health care coverage made possible by the Affordable Care Act. In addition to the ACA’s all-encompassing provisions, such as guaranteeing free preventative care for insured individuals, eliminating lifetime limits and pre-existing conditions (including pregnancy), and making insurance more affordable for all Americans, women are enjoying added protections.

As of August 1, 2012 (or at the plan’s renewal date), women have greater access to eight specific prevention services. These services include well-woman visits;  gestational diabetes screening; domestic and interpersonal violence screening and counseling; FDA-approved contraceptives and sterilization as well as contraceptive related counseling and education; breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling; HPV DNA testing for women who are 30 years of age or older;  and sexually-transmitted disease counseling, including HIV screening and counseling. In most cases, these services will be fully covered by a woman’s insurance and will not require additional co-payments.

These services join the list of already released preventative services, which include coverage for mammograms, cervical cancer screening, and osteoporosis screening; some additional pregnancy related services, such as folic acid supplements,  anemia screenings,  and Rh incompatibility screenings; as well as other general wellness measures, such as flu shots and tobacco use interventions and screenings. Women also have the right to choose and see their OB/GYN without a referral from their primary physician.

Moreover, women will soon enjoy greater insurance coverage of additional health services once all essential health benefits are implemented in 2014. The ACA mandates that, beginning in 2014, all insurance plans cover comprehensive services to the insured. Essential Health Benefits comprise the list of comprehensive services. Maternity and newborn care are among these benefits. Currently, pregnancy-related Medicaid is available to Hoosier women whose income does not exceed 200% FPL (approximately $46,000 for a family of four) and who do not have pregnancy-related coverage with their current insurer.
As with most ACA provisions, the aforementioned benefits may not apply to “grandfathered plans.” Grandfathered health plans include those that existed prior to the enactment of the law on March 23, 2010, and include individual health insurance policies as well as employer-sponsored policies. To learn more about whether your plan is grandfathered, contact your Human Resources department or the insurer directly.

Additionally, some religious organizations are exempt from providing contraception coverage and services.

If you are seeking insurance coverage or need pregnancy-related coverage, please contact Family Voices at 317.944.8982 or info@fvindiana.org to discuss your insurance options.

For more information regarding the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, please visit http://www.healthcare.gov/ , follow our blog, http://fvindiana.blogspot.com/, or subscribe to our newsletter for monthly updates.


1 comment:

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