Improvements for Women

On March 20, 2012, the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation issued a research brief regarding women’s preventive health care services. The new data show that the Affordable Care Act has expanded recommended preventive services with no cost-sharing to 20.4 million women with private health insurance and 24.7 million women with Medicare. The following provides an overview of the coverage and services available to women in 2012 and beginning in 2014 detailed in the brief.

Applicable Now

  • 20.4 million women with private health insurance gained expanded preventive services with no cost-sharing in 2011, including mammograms, cervical cancer screenings, prenatal care, flu and pneumonia shots, and regular well-baby and well-child visits.
  • Beginning in August, many health plans will cover additional preventive services with no cost-sharing, including well-woman visits, screening for gestational diabetes, domestic violence screening, breastfeeding supplies and contraceptive services.
  • 24.7 million women enrolled in Medicare received preventive services without cost-sharing in 2011, including an annual wellness visit, a personalized prevention plan, mammograms, and bone mass measurement for women at risk of osteoporosis.
  • 1.1 million women between ages 19 and 25 who would have been uninsured have coverage under their parent’s employer-sponsored or individually purchased health insurance plan.
  • More than 2 million women enrolled in Medicare saved $1.2 billion in 2011 due to improvements in prescription drug coverage.
  • Major federal investments in care innovations such as community health teams are improving the management of chronic diseases, which are prevalent among women.

 Applicable in 2014 and Thereafter

  • An estimated 8.7 million American women currently purchasing individual insurance will gain coverage for maternity services.
  • Insurance companies in the individual and small group markets will no longer be permitted to charge higher rates due to gender or health status. 
  • An estimated 13.5 million women who would otherwise be uninsured will gain health coverage by 2016.
  • State Medicaid programs will be able to offer more opportunities to women who need personal assistance or long-term care and wish to stay at home and in the community, rather than enter a nursing home.

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