Posts Tagged Affordable Care Act
Most healthcare plans will be required to cover birth control without charging co-pays or deductibles starting Aug. 1, the Obama administration announced Friday.
The final regulation retains the approach federal health officials proposed last summer, despite the deluge of complaints from religious groups and congressional Republicans that has poured in since then. Churches, synagogues and other houses of worship are exempt from the requirement, but religious-affiliated hospitals and universities only get a one-year delay and must comply by Aug. 1, 2013.
This is an important regulatory change. It includes some other important changes:
According to Health and Human Services, insurers would be required to cover not only contraception, but also HPV testing, breastfeeding support and supplies, and domestic violence screening and counseling.
This qualifies as good news. It may not sound like much, but covering contraception as a preventive service has the potential to save lots of money. Look at this way – in a house with a mom and two daughters all on contraception, they could easily be paying $50 apiece per month. That’s a $150 a month they’re saving. The cost to insurers is minimal compared to one pregnancy – which can easily cost $10,000 (which I’m told is the low end); fwiw, that works out to 66 months of birth control before you have spent more on it than on a pregnancy and birth. That doesn’t count the added insurance costs of an additional child.
Preventive services, regular exams and tests, pay for themselves many times over. I’ve used this example before but a flu shot costs $2o or $25. Get the flu and you’ll spend that much on tissues alone, not counting the cost of time off work, cold medicine, orange juice and a possible trip to the doctor. Including whiskey for hot toddies and the flu is an expensive ailment. The possible complications of the flu make it, to my mind, well worth avoiding. When providing contraceptive coverage, insurance plans are saving themselves money, but they’re also having the positive effect of empowering women around their own fertility and that is an unalloyed good.
Courtesy of the Affordable Care Act, 2.5 million people under the age of 26 now have insurance that did not before. More details here.
The basic point, though, is that the act targeted a specific group of Americans with the goal of increasing the number covered by insurance and succeeded. That’s 2.5 million people who are more secure than before.