New! No Co-Pays for Women’s Preventive Care
Of all of the winners in health reform, women are some of the biggest. Here’s a perfect example of why.
Under the Affordable Care Act - ahem, ObamaCare -- new private health plans must cover the guidelines on women's preventive services with no cost sharing (co-pays) in plan years starting on or after August 1, 2012. These provisions include:
Which means for a lot of women that you still won't look forward to that annual pap smear, but at least now you won't have to pay out of pocket for it as well.
How it works
The provisions kick in for each individual with health insurance when their health plan renews - if your plan year starts in September, that's when it starts; if it's in January, look forward to the new coverage starting then. More than 253,000 women in New Hampshire will start to benefit from these provisions this year alone. That's part of 47 million nationwide, and those numbers will only continue to go up as more plans come under the guidelines (grandfathered plans don't have to adhere to the changes until they've had a significant alteration to their plan structure since March 2010, when the health law passed) and as more people gain access to health coverage thanks to other provisions of the law.
More to the point: ObamaCare LOVES women.
Aside from the new coverage provisions themselves, this is the first time the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has ever adopted new guidelines specifically focused on women's unique health needs. Previously, all preventive services for women had been recommended one-by-one or as part of guidelines targeted at men as well.
Granite State Progress hit the streets in Portsmouth this week to get reactions to this news, and to hear what people would think about politicians (read: Ayotte, Guinta, Bass and hopefuls Ovide & Kevin Smith) working to rollback these new provisions and instead allow insurance companies to discriminate against women:
We also partnered with our friends at NARAL Pro-Choice NH and others to host a visit by Lady Liberty to talk about the provisions in downtown Concord: