The Affordable Care Act (ACA) helps women and their families in many ways:
It provides better access to affordable coverage, ends insurance practices that discriminate because of gender, expands coverage for children, and helps pay for long-term care. By knowing what’s in the law you can take advantage of these changes.
Provides greater access to affordable health coverage:
- The new law has created health insurance exchanges for those who can’t get coverage through their job. Exchanges are operating in each state to provide “one stop shopping.” Now it’s easier to compare plans and prices. If you are eligible for insurance through an exchange and do not purchase it, you will be subject to a penalty.
- Insurance plans sold on the exchanges must cover a range of benefits, including maternity care, prescription drugs and mental health care. You will be able to pick among four levels of coverage to fit your needs.
Ends insurance practices that discriminate because of gender:
- The ACA ends the common practice of “gender rating.” In other words, an insurer will no longer be able to charge women more than men for the same coverage. This applies to those with individual coverage and to small businesses with up to 100 employees.
- Insurance companies will no longer be able to deny you coverage because of a pre-existing condition such as domestic violence, breast or cervical cancer, pregnancy, or C-section.
- As a result of the ACA insurance companies can’t drop your health coverage if you become sick. Your health insurance is guaranteed, as long as you pay your premiums.
Ensures that women receive the benefits they need to stay healthy:
- You will not have to pay out of pocket costs for recommended preventive care. This includes services such as mammograms, immunizations, and screenings for cancer and diabetes.
- Health plans can no longer require pre-authorization or referral for OB-GYN care.
Improves access to providers that specialize in women’s health:
- The new law provides better access to doctors and nurse practitioners who provide primary care services. This will help improve care for women with chronic health conditions who often require ongoing health care.
Expands insurance coverage for children and young adults:
- Your adult son or daughter may be able to be included on your insurance policy until he or she turns 26.
- Insurers must cover children under age 19 who have pre-existing conditions.