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Women’s Health and Health Care Reform

October 10, 2011

For some time now, people have understood that part of Health Care Reform includes preventative measures for both men and women to be provided at no cost to the patient. However, recently the Obama Administration took preventative care one step farther when they announced that birth control is considered a preventative measure as well.

Coverage of birth control is now considered preventative which in short means no co-pays for birth control starting in 2013.

While this new mandate is causing some controversy between the right and left wing, one must look at this as a small step in the right direction. The women’s prevention package will cover more than just birth control, it will also cover at least one “well-woman” preventive care visit per year, screenings for diabetes during pregnancy, screenings for cervical cancer viruses for women over 30, annual HIV counseling and screening, screening for and counseling about domestic violence, annual counseling on sexually transmitted infections, as well as support for breast feeding mothers including the cost for renting pumps.

Beginning January 1, 2013, the women’s prevention package will be available to most people covered under private insurance. For now, those who fall under grandfathered plans will not be required to comply with the new law.

According to an article from Benefits Pro, “These historic guidelines are based on science and existing (medical) literature and will help ensure women get the preventive health benefits they need,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.” (http://www.benefitspro.com/2011/08/01/insurers-must-cover-birth-control-with-no-copays)

While preventative care at no cost to the patient is an important step in improving overall health of Americans, it is important to note that this may increase premiums. It is not known if this will adversely affect premiums at this time but it is anticipated that premiums will increase at some time due to this legislation. The formula is simple, more doctors’ visits and more claims means more cost to the insured.

Nobody can predict how Health Care Reform will play out, but for now small steps in improving the overall health of America is something to cheer about.

Thank you for reading!

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