Health Care Reform Affects Women’s Health

Posted on July 26, 2011


Reports say birth control, contraceptives, sterilization and reproductive education should be covered by health insurance plans with no cost to patients under the health care reform law. Although under some health insurance plans, birth control such as hormone pills and implantable devices are partially covered, it still requires patients to contribute financially. This action can help avoid unintended pregnancies which in a national survey found that 49% of all pregnancies in the US were unintended in 2001. And women who have unintended pregnancies are more likely to have little or no prenatal care, and engage in risky behaviors such as smoking, drinking or experience domestic violence. Although the recommendation on contraceptives is most likely to attract controversy, the Institute of Medicine committee also suggested that the following programs be fully covered as preventive services:

  • Screening for gestational diabetes for pregnant women between 24 and 28 weeks
  • DNA testing for high-risk HPV for women starting at 30 years of age; recurring every three years
  • Annual counseling on sexually transmitted infections for all sexually active women
  • HIV testing and counseling on an annual basis for sexually active women
  • Breastfeeding support and counseling, including costs of renting breastfeeding equipment
  • Screening and counseling for interpersonal and domestic violence
  • One preventive care visit a year for adult women

What’s your opinion?

Posted in: Health, Health Reform