U.S.Women to Benefit from Free Preventive Care

Preventative Care

Women with health insurance will have the opportunity to receive free preventive care starting today, under guidelines set forth by the Obama health care reform law. Health insurers will be required to foot the bill for women-specific services, an action that many expect will encourage more women to seek medical care.

Women Skipping Out on Preventative Care

In recent years, many women have been choosing to bypass important medical screenings and preventative care that could save their lives. One major reason for choosing to skip out on preventive medical care is the rising cost of health care and health insurance.

Health care costs have been on a steady incline over the past decade, and health insurers have matched with their own increases, resulting in higher premiums and costlier co-pays or co-insurance.

Another cost issue women have faced over the years is gender bias in health care. Women are notoriously charged higher health insurance premiums than men due to a higher number of potential health issues that could cost insurers money.

The rise in costs, and some companies simply not covering specific services, has left many women feeling that they have no option but to avoid necessary preventive care screenings.

Obama Health Care Reform Benefits to Start Today

Starting on August 1, the Obama health care reform law is requiring health insurance plans to provide preventative care to women free of charge. In most cases, this means women will be given access to the following services at no cost:

  • Pap smears
  • Breast exams
  • Screening for sexually-transmitted diseases
  • Prenatal care

Many insurance companies are also required to pay for contraceptive education, domestic violence counseling and breastfeeding supplies.

The new benefits under the Obama health care reform are not expected to help all women with health insurance since some own insurance policies that have been grandfathered in under old laws. But the government estimates that approximately 47 million women in the United States will benefit from the change.