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Health Reform and You
The task force's current advocacy priority is educating women about the new health care reform law and guidelines for its implementation. As time goes on, we will be focusing on additional health-related issues.
Although the national health care legislation President Obama signed into law in April 2010 (the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act) fell short of what NCWO and many of its affiliates were advocating for, it does provide many positive changes for American women and their families.
NCWO and its affiliates are delighted that the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act.
There are a number of excellent resources available to help explain the new law and provide a great deal of information about it. Some of these web sites on the issue include those listed below.
Countdown to Coverage's homepage provides a nice overview, which we feature here:
The law is already helping women and our families stay healthy:
• making cancer screenings affordable by eliminating the co-pays.
• ending unfair insurance denials by telling insurance companies they can't deny coverage to our children.
• ensuring young adults have health care coverage by allowing them to stay on family health insurance until age 26.
The law will continue helping women through 2014 and beyond:
• increasing our access to a robust list of preventive services, including contraception, by eliminating additional cost-sharing.
• stopping discrimination by telling insurance companies they can no longer charge women higher prices than men or deny us for pre-existing conditions.
• guaranteeing coverage for prenatal and maternity care.
2012 is a critical year for women's health care because starting on August 1, insurance companies will have to begin covering women's preventive care without extra charges. And after that, as new plan years begin, more and more women will gain new access to affordable preventive health care.
NCWO, along with many of its affiliates, has been fighting for abortion and contraception coverage under the prevention mandates of the new law. We are allied with Raising Women's Voices to get these covered.
New ACA Rule Requires Insurers to Use Plain Language in Describing Health Plan Benefits, Coverage
A new rule implementing the ACA calls for health insurers to provide consumers with clear, consistent and comparable summary information about their health plan benefits and coverage. The new explanations, which are to be available beginning, or soon after, September 23, 2012 will be a key resource for the 150 million Americans with private health insurance today. HHS announcement provides details.