Magazine article National NOW Times

NOW Cheers Preventive Care Services, Including Contraception, under Affordable Care Act

Magazine article National NOW Times

NOW Cheers Preventive Care Services, Including Contraception, under Affordable Care Act

Article excerpt

A major step forward in providing better health care for women was achieved this year. As of Aug. 1, key provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA or "Obamacare") went into effect, making preventive care more accessible and affordable for 47 million women, who are now guaranteed insurance coverage for crucial preventive health care services without co-pays, co-insurance or deductibles.

Studies show that even moderate co-pays discourage women from getting mammograms and pap smears. Breast and cervical cancer are leading causes of death among women, and early detection is key. According to the National Cancer Institute, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and when it is detected early, the five-year survival rate is 98 percent. That's why it's so important for women to have access to an annual health exam without co-pays. Thanks to Obamacare, tens of millions of women will no longer be compelled to forgo or delay needed preventive care due to economic hard times.

The new package of preventive benefits also includes coverage for contraceptive services. Contraception is a basic part of women's health care, and nearly all women use a form of birth control at some point in their lives. On average, a woman uses birth control for 30 years of her life at an average cost of $50 per month.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, women who use contraceptives consistently and correctly account for only five percent of all unintended pregnancies each year. The bottom line is that contraception makes for healthier women, healthier mothers and healthier babies, and it reduces health care costs overall. …

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