Get a healthcare screening!
Under the new healthcare legislation, women’s preventive health care – such as mammograms, screenings for cervical cancer, prenatal care, and other services – is covered with no out-of-pocket expense.
While the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare as some refer to it, doesn’t fully kick in until January 2014, many types of preventive screenings are already available at no cost to you—that’s no copayment, no coinsurance and no deductible.
The ACA offers a wide range of benefits and services, some of which are already rolled out and many more benefits are coming in October 2013, January 2014 and beyond.
The law focuses on prevention and primary care to help people stay healthy and to manage chronic medical conditions before they become more complex and costly to treat.
New private health plans must cover and eliminate cost-sharing (co-payment, co-insurance, or deductible) for proven preventive measures such as immunizations and cancer screenings. Additional preventive measures for women kicked in August 2012, including free well woman visits, screening for gestational diabetes, domestic violence screening, breast-feeding supplies, and contraception, all with no cost-sharing.
There are currently 22 preventive services for women in addition to the preventive services for all adults. Most women are aware that they are entitled to a free mammogram every year or two for women who are over 40. There are many women, unfortunately, who are not aware of the many other free preventive services available to them.
The top five preventive services for women are as follows.
1. Mammogram (every 1 to 2 years for women over 40)
A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast to check for breast cancer. Mammograms can help find breast cancer early. You have a better chance of surviving breast cancer if it’s found and treated early. Like all medical tests, mammograms have pros and cons. These pros and cons change with your age and your risk of breast cancer. Use the questions below to start a conversation with your doctor.
2. Breastfeeding support and counseling
Try hard to breastfeed your baby for the first 6 to 12 months after birth. Breastfeeding is very healthy for you and your baby. If you have a health condition or are taking any medicines, talk with your AAW doctor or midwife about breastfeeding before your baby is born.
3. Contraception (FDA-approved methods, education and counseling)
Birth control (contraception) can help you prevent pregnancy until you are ready for a baby. Some types of birth control can also help protect you and your sex partner from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). There isn’t one single method of birth control that’s right for everyone. Each type of birth control has pros and cons, so it’s a good idea to discuss your options with your gynecologist.
4. Osteoporosis screening for women over age 60 depending on risk factors
A bone density test measures how strong your bones are. The test will tell you if you are at risk for osteoporosis. A bone density test is like an x-ray or scan of your body. A bone density test doesn’t hurt. It only takes about 15 minutes. Don’t wait until you’re 60; find out more about osteoporosis prevention and treatment at AAW.
5. Well woman visits
Schedule your well-woman visit with a doctor or nurse every year. The well-woman visit is a great tool to help you stay healthy. Well-woman visits include a full checkup, separate from any other visit for sickness or injury. These visits focus on preventive care for women.
Gainesville women’s gynecologists at AAW offer all of the top five preventive services provided for by the Affordable Care Act as well as others such as cervical cancer screening.
Preventive services are important because they help healthcare professionals monitor your health and find potential issues early. Early detection saves lives!
Gainesville’s OB/GYN specialists at All About Women Obstetrics & Gynecology offer, by far, the most compassionate, comprehensive healthcare for women of all ages across North Florida.