Today, Morning Consult published an opinion piece by Dr. Karen Scott, former chief medical officer for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, that highlights Kaiser Health News new data on women’s access to preventive care and argues that while these statistics show progress, there is still work to be done for all women to have access to adequate ...
Today marks the eighth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and according to a poll released today by the Kaiser Family Foundation, public support for this health reform bill has hit an all-time high. Before the ACA was signed into law in 2010, women could be charged more for health insurance based on their gender, women were not guaranteed ...
Today, the Kaiser Family Foundation released the 2017 Kaiser Women’s Health Survey, a nationally-representative survey of women ages 18 to 64, which found that healthcare coverage rates for women are at all-time highs and the use of preventive services is on the rise, however many women still face a wide range of affordability and other access challenges.
Today, Scott Harris, contributing writer for MedPage Today analyzed a report on gestational diabetes care published in December in Clinical Diabetes which found that lower income and education levels can substantially hinder gestational diabetes care.
Today, Rebecca Berry, Esq. from Black Women’s Health Imperative published a blog post that highlights the vibrant life of her grandmother and her preventable death from cervical cancer, bringing to light the importance of access to cervical cancer screenings.
Today, Kaiser Health News’ Anna Gorman tells the story of Fanny Ortiz, who left an abusive marriage after nearly a decade and highlights how healthcare providers play an important role in promoting prevention and providing assistance in domestic violence situations.
Today, FierceHealthcare’s Paige Minemyer covered the launch of Care Women Deserve which aims to better inform women about the health services that are included in their insurance plans at no extra cost.
Today, Forbes published a piece by Jordan Brooks, Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of the United State of Women, that highlights how despite the new obstacles in place to sign up for healthcare, more than 8.8 million people signed up for health coverage through the ACA marketplaces for 2018.
Seven organizations promoting women’s health support a new campaign on preventive services for women
It’s no secret that women have different health needs than men — especially when it comes to preventive care.
In early October, the Trump administration announced it would allow a broader group of employers and insurers to exempt themselves from covering contraceptives on religious or moral grounds.
Frequently Asked Questions
Am I eligible?
If you have health insurance, recommended women’s preventive health services should be covered (paid for) at no cost to you. Be sure to check with your health insurance company to confirm what is included in your benefits.
How do I access the services?
Once you have confirmed your coverage and found a provider, the next step to accessing the women’s preventive services is to make an appointment with your health care provider. It is important to schedule your well-woman visit at least once a year. At your appointment, ask your health care provider about these services and which ones are appropriate for you.
How do I know which preventive services I should get?
Most services have a recommended age range or other factors that might make them right for you. You can find details on when to receive each service here. It is important to schedule a well-woman visit for yourself at least once a year. This is the perfect time to talk to your health care provider and make a plan about which of the women’s preventive services are right for you – which ones you need now and which ones you should plan to get in the future.
Why are the women’s preventive services so important?
Preventive care helps us stay healthy and improves our wellbeing. Without access to preventive care, we can experience health-related problems that can negatively impact our lives as well as those of our children and family.
Women also need more preventive care than men, such as reproductive life planning, screenings, immunizations, and other services that contribute to our overall health. The women’s preventive services address these needs and removes the financial barrier for us to get the care we deserve.
If I get billed for a preventive service, what should I do?
If you get a bill for a preventive service, call your insurance company. You may need to send a written appeal to the company that explains why you shouldn’t be charged. The National Women’s Law Center has a toolkit to help you send an appeal including specific tools to help with birth control appeals.
Is birth control still available without out-of-pocket costs?
In 2017, the federal government made a rule that allows most employers and universities to opt out of birth control coverage for moral or religious reasons. If you get insurance from your employer, you most likely won’t have any changes in your birth control coverage. But contact your insurance company to find out.
If you think you may lose your birth control coverage under these rules, contact the National Women’s Law Center’s CoverHer hotline at 1-866-745-5487 or email at CoverHer@nwlc.org for free help on getting no-cost birth control.
I’ve seen different guidelines for mammograms. Which one should I follow?
It is important to talk with your health care provider about your risk for breast cancer and the best screening plan for you. The ACA women’s preventive service recommendation for mammograms is the guideline that insurance companies use to cover the full cost of a mammography screening with no extra costs to you.
Who decided which services are included as women’s preventive services?
A committee of health experts working for the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) decided the set of services to be included as women’s preventive services. The committee based its decision on a review of health and medical evidence.
Are there other preventive services covered under the Affordable Care Act?
Yes, The Affordable Care Act expanded coverage for certain preventive services recommended by the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), Bright Futures, and Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP). These organizations recommended certain services for women, but Congress recognized not all women’s preventive health needs were addressed and established the women’s preventive services to fill in the gaps. To learn more about all the preventive services available to women through most health insurance plans at no cost to you, check Healthy Women’s Keep the Care guide.
Want to Learn More?
Here are other resources where you can learn more about the women’s preventive services:
Women’s preventive services guidelines
- The report from the Women’s Preventive Services Initiative
- HRSA-supported Women’s Preventive Services Guidelines