What Women on a Budget Love About the Affordable Care Act

Alden Wicker

Senator Coons congratulates women at the Supreme Court after the decision upholding the Affordable Care Act

Comments are coming in faster than we can read them today on our breakdown of the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act.

Readers are debating what it means for their small businesses, for their family members with pre-existing conditions, our national debt, premiums and more.

But one thing we really should have told you is this: If you’re a women, and you enjoy saving money (probably–you are reading this on LearnVest), the health law has some goodies you’ll love.

You Won’t Get Charged More for Being a Woman

Currently, many health insurance agencies charge healthy, non-smoking women more than they would a smoking man. This higher price adds up to women paying about $1 billion more in health costs per year. Why?

  • We get pregnant (though many private insurers don’t cover maternity costs anyway)
  • We are more likely to take advantage of preventive care services
  • We have this special doctor that men don’t: a gynecologist

Whether any of this actually justifies a higher cost (so we get penalized for visiting the doctor now, instead of waiting until it’s an emergency?) is debatable. But starting in 2014, insurance companies will not be able to discriminate based on gender when deciding how much to charge a policy holder.

You’ll Get All the Preventive Care You Need–For Free

With the new law, insurance companies will not be able to charge a co-pay for certain preventive services, and the list of what qualifies is long. Here are just some examples of things that will be covered starting this August:

  • Breastfeeding support and counseling, and access to breastfeeding supplies
  • Domestic and interpersonal violence screening and counseling
  • Sexually transmitted infections (STI) counseling
  • Regular check-ups

And some other services that will be covered for free starting in 2014:

  • Contraception (This could save you up to $18,000 over your lifetime!)
  • Breast cancer screenings for women over 40
  • Chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, cervical cancer and HIV screenings
  • Osteoporosis screening for women over age 60
  • Tobacco use screening and interventions

It Will Reduce the Cost of Pregnancy

As it stands now, 62% of women who buy individual insurance do not have maternity coverage. But starting in 2014, 8.7 million women will pick up this coverage.

In addition, starting in 2014, an insurance company won’t be able to deny you coverage for having the “preexisting condition” of being pregnant.

Finally, many of the free preventive services that women will be entitled to under the new health law are especially for pregnant women, like folic acid supplements and anemia screenings.

Image credit: senatorchriscoons/Flickr

  • Amber

    Thanks for sharing this article LV. These acts can be confusing, so it’s nice to get a simple breakdown of what it means for me.

  • 276girl

    seriously, all you want is everything given to you. what a bunch of freeloading pieces of humanity the USA has become. what made the US great was the fact that we are free to seek our happiness, life and liberty. for so many to cry about taxes going higher this obamacare with make it higher. why don’t you look into it more to see. CAN WE SAY SOCIALISM, all together now. 

    • jobrien

       What are you talking about??? You pay for your health insurance; the only difference is that you don’t get charged more just for being a woman.

      Where you get this is socialism idea is of great concern to most of us who actually pay for our health insurance. I don’t see how not being gouged on my insurance premiums is somehow “socialism.” I don’t think happiness is paying an outrageous amount for health insurance so some insurance CEO has a couple of mansions.

      Your rant about taxes has no basis in reality. Just who will pay more in tax??? Specifically who will pay MORE in tax??? It’s FREELOADERS in emergency rooms. I thought you would be all for penalizing the REAL freeloaders. Instead, you are just pedaling the right-wing bat-shit of the loonies on FOX fabrications. Why don’t YOU READ about the bill instead of watching liars on TV.

      • Dria2323

         Thank you, we are paying for insurance that do not provide the coverage we need when we need it. We work to pay for insurance that do not cover half of the treatments need for women. Giving birth is expensive and some insurance companies are refusing to pay.  That is not expecting something free that is getting what I pay for.

    • Pdaly

      We are one of the very few industrialized countries in the world who do not provide free or affordable health care for our citizens.  Obama’s law will change that.  You must be young and healthy.  You could get hit by a car tomorrow and all of a sudden you need health care.  If your job doesn’t provide it how will you afford it.  Why is it so wrong to want to take care of everyone in this country?  Not  everyone has had the luck you may have had.   

    • Ksteere727

       I totally agree !  It is NOT going to be FREEEEEE!!

  • MrsSq

    It’s unfair to characterize ANY of these things as free. They are not free and we will pay more than before under “Obamacare”. I suspect the quality of service will decrease. This is America. Free-market capitalism and competition should prevail over government mandated or government regulated “programs”. Show me an example of a gov’t program that runs well. They overspend all budgets and bankrupt everything. Why would we want more?