Women: Powerful Influencers

Family happily running on a green lawnResearch shows women influence the habits of those around them. When we set a good example by prioritizing our own health, we encourage others to make healthy choices, too — including our kids. My kids' well-being has always been my primary concern, but I know how critical it is to take care of my own needs at the same time. It's not always easy to put my own health above other daily pressures, but it's reassuring to know that by being proactive about my own health, I've also helped my kids. Talk about a win-win situation!

Fortunately, it's never been easier for women to take control of their health, thanks to the Affordable Care Act. I'm sure you've heard how groundbreaking this law is, but knowing the details will help you take advantage of the new benefits in your own day-to-day life.

At the Office on Women's Health, we want to make sure you and your family are getting the most out of your health coverage. That's why we teamed up with WebMD to provide easy-to-understand information on how the health care law specifically benefits women. So, what does the Affordable Care Act do for you? Here are just a few answers:

  • It helps you stay well. The health care law requires most private insurance plans to cover important preventive services without copays, coinsurance, or deductibles. What's covered? Your annual well-woman visit, plus screening tests for colorectal cancer, osteoporosis, blood pressure, cholesterol, and much more. Watch this 3-minute video to see which preventive screenings you might need.

If you're wondering what the difference is between a copay, coinsurance, and deductible, take 5 minutes and check out this video. It offers tips to help you better understand your insurance policy.

  • Wondering about birth control coverage? We know that moms and babies are healthier when pregnancy is planned, but only half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are expected. Now most private insurance plans must cover, at no additional cost to you, all FDA-approved women's birth control methods. While hormonal methods (such as the pill, the shot, and implantable rods) and the IUD are better at preventing pregnancy, any FDA-approved female birth control method is covered at no cost with a doctor's prescription. And the doctor's visit will probably be fully covered too! Check your policy or call your insurance company for more information about your coverage.
  • It supports new moms. The Affordable Care Act is looking out for you and your baby. Pregnancy is no longer considered a pre-existing condition, so you can't be denied coverage just because you're pregnant. Plus, the law requires most plans to cover a basic set of maternity and newborn benefits — without extra out-of-pocket costs — such as preventive services for you before, during, and after pregnancy, well-baby checkups, and breastfeeding support. Check with your insurance provider to find out what your plan covers while you're pregnant and after your baby is born.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Visit the WebMD website to find more information on these topics, as well as quitting smoking, healthy weight loss, screening tests, and more.

The Affordable Care Act is giving us more control over our health care than ever before, but we have to take full advantage of it! Be an influencer. Share this post with the women in your life. When women are healthy, our families benefit, too!