I see the miracle of birth every day.
It's why I work in the labor and delivery department at the hospital. But it can be heartbreaking when a baby is born with health problems because its mother had a condition that we didn't know about until we were in the delivery room.
Prenatal care and testing are so important. But some women just can't afford it--or even afford co-payments of $20 - $40. It adds up. I've seen too many pregnant women who've been faced with the choice of whether to pay for a medical test or put food on the table for their children at home. And they don't get the tests.
Now with the Affordable Care Act, more women will be able to get the care they need.
The healthcare law helps more Americans of all ages get the preventive care they need
In 2012, 54 million Americans gained access to free preventive care, with no co-pays or out-of-pocket costs.
Insurance plans can no longer charge a patient a co-payment, coinsurance or deductible for screenings and care.
Children (ages 0-17):
- regular pediatrician visits
- vision and hearing screening
- developmental assessments
- screening and counseling to address obesity and help children maintain a healthy weight.
Women (ages 18-64):
- cancer screening such as pap smears, mammograms and colonoscopy,
- recommended immunizations, flu shots, healthy diet counseling and obesity screening; cholesterol and blood pressure screening;
- screening for sexually transmitted infections and HIV;
- depression screening;
- and tobacco-use counseling.
Starting in August 2012, additional preventive services specific to women, such as screening for gestational diabetes and contraception, will be covered by new health plans with no co-pays.
Men (ages 18-64):
- recommended immunizations such as flu shots,
- cancer screening including colonoscopy,
- healthy diet counseling and obesity screening;
- cholesterol and blood pressure screening;
- screening for HIV;
- depression screening; and tobacco-use counseling.
Removing additional costs means that more Americans will get the care they need before they get sick--keeping us all healthier and keeping healthcare costs lower.
How has the Affordable Care Act helped you?
In the time since it first went into effect, the healthcare law has improved the lives and health of millions-with many more improvements to come as the law is fully implemented in 2014.
Visit our healthcare resource hub on SEIU.org at http://www.seiu.org/the-healthcare-law.