Affordable Care Act

In a historic ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to uphold the Affordable Care Act which improves access to affordable, quality health care for millions and is the single biggest advancement in women’s health in a generation.

As a health care provider whose doctors and nurses serve nearly three million people every year through its nearly 800 affiliate health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood is committed to expanding access to affordable care.

Seven Reasons Why the Affordable Care Act is Important for Women:

1. 45 Million More Women Have Received Preventive Care Without Co-pays
After just two years, 20.4 million women with private health insurance received care they previously had to pay for and 24.7 million women covered under Medicare now receive additional preventive services without cost-sharing. That's more than 27,000 women every day receiving coverage for preventive services such as well-woman exams, mammograms, and Pap tests.

2. Increased Access to Contraception
In a time when many are trying to restrict access to comprehensive reproductive services, the Affordable Care Act increases access to contraception for women. Starting in August 2012, insurance companies and employers (with the exception of churches and other places of worship) must cover contraception without any additional co-pays. It's no surprise that this is one of the most popular benefits of the health reform law- maybe it's because birth control use is nearly universal. Ninety-nine percent of all sexually experienced women and 98 percent of sexually experienced Catholic women have used it at some point in their lives. Not to mention the fact that 58 percent of women who use the birth control pill use it for purposes other than pregnancy prevention, including managing endometriosis, ovarian cysts, and other medical conditions. It's basic preventive care and can save women up to $600 per year.

3. Expanded Access for Women (Especially Young Women)
More access means more healthy women, especially when young women are more likely to be uninsured than any other age group. Under the law, nearly 13 million women of reproductive age can now access affordable health insurance. Young women and men under the age of 26 won’t be immediately dropped from their parents’ health care plan upon graduating college. In most cases, they will be able to remain on their parents’ plans no matter if they are married, living with their parents, still in school, or looking for a job. Already, 3.1 million young adults have been able to stay on their parents' insurance.

4. Ending Discriminatory Practices Against Women

The ACA protects women from insurance companies charging higher premiums, sometimes up to 150 percent more than men. Insurers will no longer be able to deny health care coverage because of a "pre-existing condition" such as breast cancer, high blood pressure, or diabetes. This is especially good news for women who have been denied coverage because some health insurers have claimed that even pregnancy or being a survivor of domestic violence is a pre-existing condition.

5. Promoting the Health of Women by Covering Preventive Care
The Affordable Care Act promotes women’s health by guaranteeing coverage of preventive care such as lifesaving breast cancer screenings and immunizations without co-pays. Additionally, all new health plans will be required to offer essential benefits for women including maternity, reproductive, and prescription care that were previously not universal insurance benefits.

6. Your Insurance Company Can't Come Between You and Your Doctor
Every woman knows how important access to ob/gyn providers is to maintaining good health, but too many women have faced barriers to accessing them. Under the law, your insurance company can't come between you and your doctor. Women now have guaranteed access to an ob/gyn provider without having to wait for a doctor's referral or approval from the insurance company.

7. Affordable Care for a Lifetime
Because of the health care law, millions of women will no longer have to worry about what happens if they get sick or have a pre-existing condition. More than 4 million women of reproductive age will be eligible for tax credits to make health insurance coverage through the marketplace more affordable. Women will be able to receive the care they need without fear of discrimination or higher premiums simply because of their gender.

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