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Health reform provides more than 45 million women access to preventive health care services

Posted Mar 20 2012 1:01am

Millions more see lower prescription drug costs, stand to gain health insurance coverage

Under the Affordable Care Act, 45.1 million women – including 20.4 million women with private health insurance and 24.7 million women with Medicare – can receive recommended preventive services with no cost-sharing, new data released today by Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius show.

More than one million young adult women have already gained health insurance coverage because of the law and 13 million more women will gain coverage by 2016. Without the health care law, these women would remain uninsured.

The data highlighted in an issue brief by the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation show that Affordable Care Act provisions are already improving women’s health by making recommended preventive care services more accessible and increasing access to health insurance coverage.

“From increased health coverage to free preventive services and lower prescription drug costs, our mothers, grandmothers, daughters, friends and neighbors are already benefiting from this law and will continue to in the months and years to come,” said Secretary Sebelius.

Most women with private insurance do not have to pay for such important preventive health services under health reform; mammograms, cervical cancer screenings, prenatal care, flu shots and regular well-baby and well-child visits will be covered at no cost.  Beginning in August of this year, many health plans must also cover, with no cost-sharing, recommended preventive services, such as well-woman visits, domestic violence screening, and breastfeeding supplies.

An estimated 8.7 million more women who buy coverage in the individual market will gain maternity benefits, beginning 2014, as a result of the health care law’s requirement for health insurance plans in that market to cover essential health benefits.

Additionally, the ASPE issue brief notes that more than 2 million women in Medicare have saved $1.2 billion on the cost of prescription drugs in the “donut hole” coverage gap. The Affordable Care Act helps seniors and people with disabilities who have Medicare pay less for their prescription drugs in the donut hole, which by 2020, the will be closed.

For more information about this topic, see the ASPE Research Brief at

http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/2012/ACA&Women/rb.shtml .

For more information about the Affordable Care Act and its impact on you, see http://www.healthcare.gov/ .

Share your stories on how health reform impacts you and your family at http://www.healthcare.gov/mycare .

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