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Health Care

Happy Fifth Birthday, ACA!

Can you believe it? The ACA is already five years old. It seems like just yesterday we were celebrating the law’s passage. Today, we can celebrate the law’s continued success.

It’s clear the law is working. Because of the ACA, women are protected from discriminatory health insurance practices, health coverage is more affordable and easier to obtain, and women have better access to many of the health services they need. Read more »

House and Senate Budgets Threaten Women’s Health

Earlier this week, the House released a proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2016 (FY2016) which would leave millions of women and their families without the financial security of high quality health insurance, unable to access the health care services they need, and facing dramatic increases in their healthcare costs. To learn more about the details of House budget proposal, our analysis is available here

Late yesterday, the Senate released their counterpart [PDF] to the House budget. The strategy is the same: repeal the Affordable Care Act and cut Medicare and Medicaid. The results would be the same, too: millions of women left without access to affordable health coverage and the care they need.

Specifically, the Senate budget proposes: Read more »

Seven Million Reasons to Worry about King v. Burwell

King v. Burwell is the most recent case attacking the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to head to the Supreme Court.  And it’s putting seven million women at risk of losing their access to affordable health insurance. Read more »

State Advocates’ Agenda for Private Health Insurance in 2015

Cross-posted from FamiliesUSA — posted by Cheryl Fish-Parcham and Claire McAndrew

Around the country, health care advocates are developing advocacy agendas to ensure that private health insurance plans meet consumers’ needs. From addressing high costs for consumers to strengthening provider networks to improving prescription drug formularies, advocates have a lot of work planned this year to improve private insurance. 

Here, we list some of the top private insurance issues that are on advocates’ 2015 agendas, along with best practices and resources that advocates shared with their peers at our Health Action conferenceRead more »

Expanding Preventive Services in FY2016

Yesterday, the President released his budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016. The budget maintains the President’s commitment to fully implementing the Affordable Care Act and takes other steps to protect women’s access to health care. The budget proposes requiring states to cover preventive services without cost-sharing in traditional Medicaid – a major step towards increasing access to the preventive services that women need to live longer lives and stay healthy.

The proposal to expand preventive services coverage to Medicaid includes eight women’s preventive services. These services were developed by the Institute of Medicine and endorsed by the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA). They include: (1) Breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling; (2) Screening and counseling for interpersonal and domestic violence; (3) Screening for gestational diabetes; (4) DNA testing for high-risk strains of HPV; (5) Counseling regarding sexually transmitted infections, including HIV; (6) Screening for HIV; (7) Contraceptive methods and counseling; and (8) Well woman visits. Thanks to the ACA, most women already have access to these services without cost-sharing, including women in private plans and women enrolled in expanded Medicaid coverage. Read more »

Save American Workers from H.R. 30

Tomorrow, the House of Representatives will be voting on H.R. 30, a bill that would change the Affordable Care Act’s definition of full-time work so that employers only have to offer health insurance to employees who regularly work 40 or more hours a week. Without this change, employers must offer coverage to employees who regularly work 30 or more hours a week.

These are four reasons H.R. 30 is bad for American women, American workers and American families. Read more »

5 Major Changes for Women’s Health Coverage in 2014

In the past year, we saw significant changes for women’s access to health coverage. In the first year of the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), millions of Americans newly enrolled in affordable, comprehensive health insurance. Women make up more than 50 percent of enrollees on the new health insurance Marketplaces, which is no surprise given that the ACA protects women from discriminatory health insurance practices, makes health coverage more affordable and easier to obtain, and improves access to many of the health services women need.

Here are just a few of the major changes for women’s health insurance coverage this year: Read more »

Transgender Health Care Needs Can't Be Ignored

A recent study on pregnancy in transgender men who had transitioned from female to male highlights the significant problems transgender people experience in obtaining appropriate and culturally competent health care. Many patients had to deal with rude or inappropriate treatment, ranging from improper pronoun use to outright refusals to provide care. One patient said that he was reported to protective services because, “A tranny had a baby.” 

Problems with transgender health care, however, aren’t limited to pregnancy. Health care providers often lack training and knowledge in how to treat transgender people and insurance companies refuse to pay for needed services. For example, health insurance companies refuse to pay for basic preventive services, like cervical cancer screenings for transgender men and prostate cancer screenings for transgender women. Read more »

Five Things to Remember During Open Enrollment this Year

Open enrollment for health coverage on the Health Insurance Marketplaces begins this weekend. Open enrollment is an annual opportunity for women to compare their insurance options and, depending on their circumstances, renew with their current plan, enroll in a new plan, or apply for Marketplace coverage for the first time. In 2014, more than 4 million women enrolled in coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplaces. This year, many more women and their families are likely to shop for coverage and select a new health plan.

As women consider their options during open enrollment, here are five things to keep in mind: Read more »

Unexpected News from the Supreme Court Won’t Stop Health Care Enrollment

With eight days to go before health plan enrollment begins for 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States announced today that it will hear King v. Burwell in the Court’s next term. This case challenges the availability of premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions for people who sign up for health insurance through the federal Marketplace. Thirty-four states rely on the federal government to manage the health insurance marketplaces for their residents. This means that if the Court were to overturn the King decision from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, millions of women and their families would lose premium subsidies, and therefore access to affordable health insurance. Read more »