Congresswoman Doris O. Matsui (CA-05) today announced that, thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), starting today all new health care plans will be required at the start of their plan year to provide free coverage of key women's preventive services.
"As the Affordable Care Act continues to be implemented, its provisions are making great strides in providing access to care for all Americans, including women," said Congresswoman Matsui. "Now, because of the health care law, women enrolling in new insurance policies or renewing existing policies will have coverage of key women's preventive services, with no co-pays. Women, not insurance companies, can now make the critical health decisions that will keep them healthy."
Beginning today, all new insurance plans will be required to cover additional services and screenings for women with no out-of-pocket charges. These include services that are essential to helping women stay healthy, including, domestic violence screening, FDA-approved contraception, breastfeeding support and supplies, gestational diabetes screening, HPV testing, sexually transmitted infection counseling, HIV screening, and well-woman visits.
As a result of the ACA, new health plans have already been required to provide free coverage of a package of certain key preventive services, including services such as colonoscopies, mammograms, cholesterol screenings, and flu shots.
Previously, insurers could deny women coverage for any number of reasons, including being a breast cancer survivor or being pregnant. Insurers could also charge women up to 50 percent more than men for the same coverage. When the ACA is fully implemented in 2014, both of these practices will become illegal.
"Starting today, more than 5.3 million women in California can get coverage for essential preventive services without paying additional costs at the doctor's office. The health care law is making a real difference in women's lives, and I will continue fighting to ensure that every woman has the access to care they need and deserve," added Congresswoman Matsui.