Ounce of Prevention Worth Pound of Cure

Women often put their families’ health care needs first, and because of expense, delay getting their own needed medical care and preventative services.
Sadly, too many Americans don’t get the preventive care they need to avoid or delay the onset of disease, reduce healthcare costs and enjoy a healthy, productive life. Americans, especially rural Americans, use preventive services at about half the recommended rate.

Heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes are responsible for seven of ten American deaths each year and 75 percent of the nation’s health spending. Most of these conditions could be prevented, and consequently, prevention could save a significant share of the nation’s health care spending. But co-pays, co-insurance and deductibles reduce the likelihood that people will use preventative services.

Fortunately, women now have access to eight new services at no additional out-of-pocket cost to keep them healthier and catch potentially serious conditions at earlier, more treatable stages.

Well-woman visits, support for breastfeeding, gestational diabetes screenings, domestic violence screening and counseling, and more will be covered - without cost sharing - in new health plans starting on August 1, 2012. About 47 million women are eligible for the preventive services covered under this provision of the Affordable Care Act.

For too long, women have been forced to pay more for coverage that does not meet our needs. Obamacare is making it easier for women to remain the healthy force behind our families, farms, ranches, and mainstreet businesses that our rural communities have counted on for generations.

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