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Affordable Care Act (ACA)

What does birth control without co-pays mean for you?

What does birth control without co-pays mean for you?
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Tell us — what does it mean to you that you will get birth control with no co-pays or deductibles?
Share Your Story

Has cost ever kept you from using the method of birth control that's best for you? Has it forced you to make tough choices, like going without birth control or even delaying paying a bill so you can afford it?

Thanks to the health care law, new insurance plans are required to cover birth control and other women's preventive health services with no co-payments or deductibles at the start of their next plan year. As more health plans come under the law's reach, more and more women will be able to keep their wallets closed when they pick up their birth control.

Tell us — what does it mean to you that you will get birth control with no co-pays or deductibles? Read more »

The Poor College Girl’s Guide to Accessing Preventive Health Care (with Money Left Over for Books and Food)

This week, I’ve thought a lot about what I could do with an extra $720. Why? Because a few years ago, I was shelling out $60 a month in co-pays, which added up to $720 spent over the course of the year. For a student subsisting on a work-study job salary, this was pretty major. Read more »

The Reality of Birth Control Costs

A few months ago, I saw a post on Facebook saying that birth control only costs women $10 a month, so we don’t need to get it for free. This video blog has been percolating inside of me ever since. Let’s put aside the issue that the health care law is not providing free birth control (the law requires insurance plans to provide preventive services with no cost sharing), and talk about what the real cost of birth control is for women. The monthly costs of birth control—plus their annual visit with their ob/gyn to get their prescription—can add up to hundreds of dollars a year with health insurance. Watch my blog post and learn how the costs of birth control add up and what those costs mean for women and their families.

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Yes to Birth Control. No to Co-Pays.

Yes to Birth Control. No to Co-Pays.

Yes to Birth Control. No to Co-Pays.
Tell your Members of Congress you support women's access to preventive health services without co-pays or deductibles.
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Women's lives are about to get a little easier (and less expensive). Thanks to the health care law, today a provision goes into effect requiring birth control and other preventive services that women need be covered without a co-payment or a deductible! Over time, as an increasing number of new plans come under the law's reach, more women could have access to these services with no extra cost.

Tell your Members of Congress today how much this means to you and that you support women's access to preventive health services without co-pays or deductibles.

The preventive health services included in new plans are: well-woman visits, breastfeeding assistance and supplies, domestic violence counseling, screening for gestational diabetes, testing for high-risk strains of HPV, screening for sexually transmitted infections including HIV, and all FDA-approved methods of contraception. Read more »

Our Check *Was* in the Mail

Thanks, Obamacare!Remember when I told you about a great provision in the health care law requiring health insurance companies to spend your premium dollars on health care and not administrative costs or profits? My last blog post explains the whole deal.

An estimated 12 million Americans will receive rebates from health insurers totaling over $1 billion. And guess what? I got one! Well, sort of.

My health insurance company is CareFirst BlueChoice; it is the plan I receive as an employee of the National Women’s Law Center. A few weeks ago, I received a notice in the mail that CareFirst did not spend the legally required amount of premium dollars on care.

Check out the notice here. The accompanying letter says, “This letter is to inform you that CareFirst BlueChoice, Inc. will be rebating a portion of your health insurance premiums. This rebate is required by the Affordable Care Act—the health reform law.” [Some lovingly call it ObamaCare] If a health plan spends too much on administrative costs, as CareFirst did, it has to pay a rebate. Maybe next year they will get their act together and just charge lower premiums, which would be good too. Read more »

31 Reasons We Love the Health Care Law

Today the House of Representatives will vote on the proposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act, the landmark health reform law that the Supreme Court recently determined to be constitutional. Congress has already voted to repeal all or part of this law 30 previous times – but perhaps the House leaders really just want to go out for ice cream and have the number 31 stuck in their heads. Below we offer our 31 favorite flavors of health reform, or at least our 31 favorite reasons to protect the Affordable Care Act.

  1. 7 million American women will be eligible for tax credits to help them purchase coverage.
  2. Millions of uninsured women will be newly eligible for Medicaid coverage.
  3. 6.6 million young adults have already benefited from the provision that enables children to stay on their parent’s insurance until age 26.
  4. Insurance companies cannot drop your coverage if you get sick.
  5. Insurers will no longer be able to put lifetime and annual caps on your coverage.
  6. Insurance companies must spend 80 to 85 percent of premiums on health care, instead of on administrative costs and profits.

Help Stop Efforts to Repeal the Health Care Law!

Even before the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the health care law is constitutional, opponents of the law already had decided that they were going to repeal it. To make matters worse, they have no plan to ensure that women and their families have access to quality, affordable health care.

They say it's about policy. It is — a policy of putting politics above the health of women and their families.

Tell your Member of Congress to oppose repealing the health care law.

The health care law is already providing people with pre-existing conditions access to health care coverage. Read more »

What the Supreme Court Decision Means for Women: An FAQ

By now you’ve probably heard about the Supreme Court decision on the new health care law, but with all of the news stories focusing on political candidates’ reactions and Supreme Court gossip, you would be forgiven if you don’t know what this decision actually means for you and your family. Thankfully, we’re here to help. To find out more about what the decision means for women’s health, check out our new Frequently Asked Questions.

The short of it is, all of the new protections we’ve been telling you about for two years will remain in place!

  • No longer will you be charged more for coverage just because you are a woman or denied coverage because you have a history of breast cancer.

One Part of the Health Care Law We’d Like to See Thrown Out

While we take every opportunity to cheer that – thanks to the Supreme Courtwomen will continue to receive so many critical benefits provided by the health care law, it is also worth pointing out one way that the law hurts women: it explicitly allows states to pass laws prohibiting private insurance coverage of abortion. After the law passed, state politicians who don’t want abortion to be legal in America stepped right up, pushing bans on insurance coverage of abortion to make it unaffordable.

At this midyear point in 2012, there are now twenty states that prohibit a woman from obtaining insurance coverage for abortion either on the exchange or in any private insurance plan in the state. Read more »

A View from the Supreme Court’s Steps

NWLC Staff react to the Affordable Care Act decision
NWLC staffers who didn't head the the Supreme Court
Thursday celebrate the ruling in our office

A troupe of NWLC interns travelled to the Supreme Court Thursday morning – the day the big decision was announced. When we got there, it wasn’t difficult to figure out where we belonged. Those congregated in front of the Supreme Court today were as clearly divided as the Justices were in their opinions.

To the left was a group of singing and dancing ACA-supporters chanting: Ho ho, hey hey, Obamacare is gonna stay. To the right, I saw those opposed to the health care law chanting: Hey hey, ho ho, Obamacare has got to go. Yes, that’s right, the two sides were almost singing the same exact song. How poetic, right?

While we waited for the decision, it was clear that there would be winners and losers. And although we were there awaiting the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act, many of the people on the steps seemed to be talking about everything but the health care law and what it actually does. And the way some were talking, it seemed that the real impact of the ACA was completely lost on them. Read more »