In theory, your health comes before everything else, and and there are few things more worth your money than the costs to maintain it. In theory. Before today, nearly half of American women between the ages of 19 and 64 avoided doctor visits and medical services because they didn't want to pay for them, a 2010 Commonwealth Fund survey revealed. However, new measures that come into effect on August 1 under the Affordable Care Act could change that statistic.
While there's still a ways to go before all women have unencumbered access to preventive benefits like contraception, STI testing and breastfeeding support, several important procedures and services are available to many insured women free of charge (that's right -- no copay or cost-sharing) starting today.
Under the new rules, eight services -- identified for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services by the Institute of Medicine -- join 14 other preventive services for women (such as mammograms and cervical cancer screenings) that have been covered under the Affordable Care Act since September, 2010. A report cited by Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a blog for HuffPost this week says the new measure should bring preventive services to 47 million women. Ryan Gosling has yet to comment.
So how do you know if the change applies to you, now? Read on.
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