En español l The health care law benefits women and their families in many ways. It provides better access to coverage, ends insurance practices that discriminate because of gender, expands coverage for children and improves long-term care services.
It’s easier to get health insurance
- There’s a new way to shop for a health insurance. If you don’t have insurance, you can find a plan that works for you and your family in the Health Insurance Marketplace in your state. Help is available every step of the way. You can get your questions answered about finding a plan or completing the application in person, by phone or online.
- The Health Insurance Marketplace makes it easier to shop for health plans in your state. All plans are listed in one place, so you can make apples-to-apples comparisons of benefits and prices. All plans are required to describe what’s included in simple language, so there’s no guesswork about what’s covered.
- All plans must cover the essentials. All plans offered in the marketplace are required to cover important benefits, such as doctor visits, hospital care, emergency care, prescriptions and more.
- Everyone needs coverage. Starting in 2014, you’ll be required to have health coverage. If you don’t, you may have to pay a penalty. There are some exceptions, including people with a very low income.
Ends insurance practices that discriminate because of gender
- Insurance companies can no longer drop your health coverage if you become sick. Your health insurance coverage is guaranteed so long as you pay your premiums.
- Beginning in 2014, the law ends the common practice of “gender rating.” In other words, an insurer will no longer be able to charge women more than they do men for the same type of coverage. This provision applies to people with individual coverage and to small businesses that have up to 100 employees.
- Insurance companies will no longer be able to deny coverage because of a preexisting condition such as breast or cervical cancer, pregnancy or cesarean section.
Ensures that women receive the benefits they need to stay healthy
- You no longer have to pay some of the out-of-pocket costs for preventive care. This includes services such as immunizations, mammograms and other screenings for certain cancers and diabetes.
- Health plans can no longer require that women obtain a preauthorization or referral for OB-GYN care.
Improves access to providers who specialize in women’s health
- The law provides better access to doctors and nurse practitioners who provide primary care services. This will help improve care for women who have chronic health conditions and who often require ongoing health care. These provisions started in 2011; they will be phased in over time.
Expands insurance coverage for children and young adults
- If your employer-sponsored plan covers dependents, you can now include your children on your insurance policy until they turn 26.
- Insurers must cover children under age 19 who have preexisting conditions.
Updated August 2013