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Health care law for women, offers free preventive services to 47 million women


The Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that Forty-seven million women are getting greater control over their health care and access to eight new prevention-related health care services without paying more out of their own pocket beginning Aug. 1, 2012.

Previously some insurance companies did not cover these preventive services for women at all under their health plans, while some women had to pay deductibles or copays for the care they needed to stay healthy. The new rules in the health care law requiring coverage of these services take effect at the next renewal date – on or after Aug. 1, 2012—for most health insurance plans. For the first time ever, women will have access to even more life-saving preventive care free of charge.

According to a new HHS report also released today, approximately 47 million women are in health plans that must cover these new preventive services at no charge.  Women, not insurance companies, can now make health decisions that will keep them healthy, catch potentially serious conditions at an earlier state, and protect them and their families from crushing medical bills.

“President Obama is moving our country forward by giving women control over their health care,” Secretary Sebelius said. “This law puts women and their doctors, not insurance companies or the government, in charge of health care decisions.”

The eight new prevention-related services are:

    * Well-woman visits.

    * Gestational diabetes screening that helps protect pregnant women from one of the most serious pregnancy-related diseases.

    * Domestic and interpersonal violence screening and counseling.

    * FDA-approved contraceptive methods, and contraceptive education and counseling.

    * Breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling.

    * HPV DNA testing, for women 30 or older.

    * Sexually transmitted infections counseling for sexually-active women.

    * HIV screening and counseling for sexually-active women.

Because of the Affordable Care Act, secure, affordable coverage is becoming a reality for millions of American women and families.  Men and children are also able to take advantage of preventive services at no extra charge under the health care law. These services include flu shots and other immunizations, screenings for cancers, high blood pressure and cholesterol, and depression.

To learn more about the health care services you may be eligible for at no extra charge under the Affordable Care Act, go to http://www.healthcare.gov/prevention

For information about the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report on the number of adult and adolescent women eligible for the preventive services at no charge after Aug. 1, 2012, see http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/2012/womensPreventiveServicesACA/ib.shtml

For more information about this announcement please visit http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2012pres/07/20120731a.html

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