Last week I went to the White House to attend a town hall on the health care law. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius called it the most important women's health care law in 50 years and highlighted the positive ways it will affect coverage for women.
If it isn't overturned by the Supreme Court, the Affordable Care Act will mean significant changes in coverage not only for women but specifically for moms. With so much information out there about the ways health insurance will be different, here's what moms need to know about how the new law might have an impact on them:
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1. Children cannot be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition. This is a huge change and was spoken about repeatedly last week at the White House. It's now illegal to refuse to cover babies and all other children under 19 who have pre-existing health conditions, whether it's asthma or something more serious. Previously, insurance providers could deny coverage to children with health problems or drop them from their plan. Adults with pre-existing conditions will no longer be denied coverage either.
2. Contraception is covered without a copay. Meaning all birth control -- including the pill, IUDs, and even tube-tying procedures -- that you currently can only get by handing over a copay will be free. Free!
3. Breastfeeding supplies and services will be covered without a copay. New moms who are breastfeeding will have access to everything from lactation consultants to breast pump rentals without paying a cent. Insurance will take care of it.
4. Prenatal care screenings for conditions like gestational diabetes, hepatitis B, and anemia, as well as other preventive services, will be covered with no copay. Pregnant women who currently have to help foot the bill for various tests will now be screened at no cost to them.
5. Maternity and newborn care will become mandatory. Beginning in 2014, all health insurance plans must include pregnancy and newborn care. That means all prenatal visits and delivery options will be covered by insurance and available to expectant moms so they don't have to pick and choose which ones they can afford and which ones they'll have to skip.
What changes in health care are you happiest about?
Image via loomingy1/Flickr