By Nancy-Ann DeParle, Assistant to the President and White House Deputy Chief of Staff
Today, the White House released a new report on the state of women in America’s economy. We know that women are a driving force behind the success of the American economy, but women and their families can’t be successful if they don’t have high-quality health care.
As a mom, I know that women are often the ones making the health care decisions for their families. That’s why ensuring women and their families have high-quality health care they can afford is a top priority for President Obama. And it’s why he worked so hard to pass and implement the Affordable Care Act – the new health care law.
If you’re one of the millions women across the country with health insurance, your insurance is getting better. Thanks to the new law, most insurers must cover recommended preventive services at no extra cost, including cancer screenings and, starting in August, contraceptives. Additionally, preventive services are free for everyone on Medicare. That means 45 million women can get preventive services without paying an extra penny out of their own pockets. Insurance companies can’t put a lifetime cap on your insurance. And thanks to health reform, insurance companies must spend at least 80 percent of your premium dollars on health care and not overhead and cannot raise your premiums by 10 percent or more with no accountability.
If you’re on Medicare, you can get preventive services like mammograms for free and discounts on prescription drugs if you hit the donut hole.
And if you have children, the law could be helping your kids. Today, it’s illegal for insurance companies to deny coverage to children because of a pre-existing condition and 2.5 million young adults have insurance on their parent’s health plan because of health reform.
In the future, health care will only get better. Starting in 2014, insurers will no longer be able to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, such as having had breast cancer or being pregnant. They won’t be able to charge women more than men, saving women up to $1 billion in higher premiums. And 19 million uninsured women will have the security that comes with high-quality, affordable health insurance.
Altogether, these important changes to our health care system are helping to ensure that women don’t have to worry about getting the care they need or having access to health insurance. That means that more women will be able to focus on the things that really matter in their lives – raising a family, getting an education, starting a small business, or retiring with dignity.
You can learn more about how President Obama is helping women get the care they need and read the full report on the state of women in America’s economy here.
For another view of the Affordable Care Act and its impact on women’s health, click here.