Photo Credit: Enamul Hoque/photographer's choice/getty images
It just got a little easier to take care of ourselves, ladies. Most of the preventive services we need as women just became a lot more affordable! There are no more copays, deductibles or out-of-pocket expenses for birth control, screenings during pregnancy, mammograms and much more.
Here’s the deal: More provisions of the Affordable Care Act stipulate that private health insurance plans -- going into effect either on or after August 1, 2012 -- must provide certain women’s healthcare services without an additional out-of-pocket fee.
That means you can refill birth control pills, get screenings for things like gestational diabetes, find support and supplies for breastfeeding or get counseling if you’re a victim of domestic violence -- without ever opening your wallet. The new law covers well-woman exams and checkups, including human papilloma virus (HPV) screening and testing for HIV and other STDs. More women can take of advantage of seeking preventive healthcare, and doctors can detect and treat problems early. In fact, the law is expected to affect roughly 47 million women, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS):
When you signed up for your current insurance plan will determine when the law will affect you Insurance plans that were established before March 23, 2010 -- or those already providing these services with no out-of-pocket fee -- will not change under the new federal law. The provision will go into effect for all other private insurance plans once those policies renew. For instance, us iVillagers will have to wait until January before we can leave our wallets at home when we pick up a birth control prescription. (The Feds will only pay for birth control that is FDA-approved and has proven health care benefits, like protecting against osteoporosis and reducing your risk of cancer.) To find out when you can start taking advantage of preventive healthcare with no copays or other fees, call your insurance company. For more on the new law, go to healthcare.gov.