Ms. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commemorate No Co-Pay Day.
Today marks a victory for women's health care. Some 47 million women will now be able to get preventative services that couldn't before this rule went into effect.
Any new insurance policies sold to individuals or employers must cover contraception without a co-pay as part of a larger package of mandatory co-pay-free women's preventive care benefits. Insurance plans that have already been purchased will have to start offering no-co-pay contraception when they renew.
Before the Affordable Care Act, some insurance companies did not cover preventative services for women under their health care plans, and others required deductibles or co-pays for the care they needed.
That changes today--all health insurance policies are required to cover new preventative care without charging women any co-pays or deductibles. Some of the new preventative services now available with no co-pay include annual visits, FDA-approved contraceptives, domestic violence screenings and counseling, breastfeeding support, HPV DNA testing for women 30 or older, HIV and sexually transmitted infections screenings, and gestational diabetes screenings that help protect pregnant women from one of the most serious pregnancy-related diseases.
Too often, women put their families' health care before their own, especially when it comes to preventative care.
Thanks to this new benefit in the Affordable Care Act, women can get the regular checkups and screenings that are so important to staying healthy without having to worry about how much it will affect the family budget.
Today's announcement is just one more part of the overall implementation plan for improving our nation's health care system.
The Affordable Care Act will provide greater access to affordable health care for millions of women and families who do not have coverage now, while also lowering health care costs, creating jobs, strengthening the middle class, and reducing the deficit.