Posts Tagged ‘
Health Care ’
Monday, January 7th, 2013
If you’re an expectant or a new mom looking to save money in the New Year, look no further than your insurer to save a few hundred dollars. A provision in the Affordable Care Act mandates that insurance companies cover breastfeeding support, supplies, and consulting–in conjunction with each birth–when health care plans began resetting on January 1.
Insurance companies, not the government, will cover the costs of the breast pumps but each company has a different plan for its members. Since the provision is rather new, and has no specification whether insurers should cover certain brands or types of supplies, many are still unsure as to how they’ll implement these benefits.
Visit your insurer’s website to find out how you can obtain breastfeeding supplies (and determine which ones are covered on your plan) and lactation consulting for no out-of-pocket expenses.
For more information about the ACA and how it affects your family, read our interview with Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Wednesday, August 1st, 2012
Unless you’ve been living under that ol’ proverbial rock, you’ve probably heard about the Affordable Care Act. But even with all the buzz, you may still not fully understand everything that’s included, or how exactly it impacts you and your family. Plus, new things are being added. Today, a rule comes into effect that will grant women, with health plans renewing on or after today, access to eight prevention-related health services, at no cost to them. And that, as I understand it, is great news, especially for any woman who’s put off or avoided potentially life-saving preventive care because of cost. If you’re one of the 47 million eligible women, you’ll now receive the following, free of charge:
- Well-woman visits
- Gestational diabetes screening that helps protect pregnant women from one of the most serious pregnancy-related diseases.
- Domestic and interpersonal violence screening and counseling
- FDA-approved contraceptive methods, and contraceptive education and counseling
- Breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling
- HPV DNA testing, for women 30 or older
- Sexually transmitted infections counseling for sexually-active women
- HIV screening and counseling for sexually-active women
These are in addition to 14 other health care services already covered under the Affordable Care Act. As Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of health and human services, writes on HealthCare.gov, “women deserve to have control over their health care.” I’m not going to argue with that.
Image: Doctor with female patient via Shutterstock
Monday, June 11th, 2012
Last Thursday I had the pleasure of attending a Women’s Health Town Hall at The White House. The goal was to discuss the many ways that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has benefited Americans, particularly women and families. As Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius described life before ACA, “Insurers could deny women coverage for being a breast-cancer survivor, for having had a c-section, for being a victim of domestic violence. In effect, being a woman was a pre-existing condition. The Affordable Care Act has put basic fairness in place.” Some of the health care law’s biggest benefits, all in effect right now:
Insurance companies are no longer allowed to deny coverage to children because of pre-existing conditions, such as asthma or diabetes. Considering that there are 7 million children in the U.S. with asthma, and another 215,000 people under age 20 have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, this provision is vital. In 2014, ACA will make it illegal for anyone to be denied coverage for a pre-existing condition, not just children.
Insurers can’t put a lifetime limit on how much they will pay if you become ill. We saw the importance of this provision firsthand, when we met 8-month-old Jax, a twin who was born with a genetic disorder. The cost of his first day in the NICU alone was $150,000–imagine . Because there’s no lifetime limit on his healthcare coverage, his parents have one fewer concern (and a gigantic one at that) to worry about. Watch this video to meet Jax and his mom, Robyn.
Children younger than age 26 can stay on their parents’ plan. Again, we saw precisely how crucial this is when Abby spoke to us. A 20-year-old student at the University of Minnesota with a rare congenital disease, Abby doesn’t have to stress over how she’ll pay for her preventive care and any upcoming surgeries she’ll need (she’s already had the shunt in her head replaced four times.) I was touched when we saw a video with Abby’s story and her mom said, “There’s things I can’t do about the future, but this has really helped her future.” It made me think about how powerless and scared I would feel if one my daughters had a lifelong health condition–and how grateful I would feel to know I could actively help her by providing her with healthcare for years after she graduated college.
Of course, the ACA is in real danger of being overturned by the Supreme Court because the requirement for minimum health-insurance coverage and the expansion of Medicaid is considered by some states to be unconstitutional. The Supreme Court could strike down those two provisions, or they could wipe out the entire law, or they might do something else altogether. A decision is expected by the end of the month.
If you’ve been confused by what the ACA offers, and how it might help your family, go to healthcare.gov. You’ll find lots of information, including a timeline of what’s changing and when. And if you want to share your story of how ACA has made a difference in your life, go to the MyCare section of the site. The Department of Health & Human Services definitely wants to hear from you.
Shameless personal photo op: me at the iconic podium of the press briefing room!
Categories: Babies, GoodyBlog, Health & Safety, News, Pregnancy, Pregnancy, Your Child, Your Life | Tags: Affordable Care Act, Health Care, insurance, Kathleen Sebelius, pre-existing conditions, The White House
Monday, May 21st, 2012
Cost of Children’s Health Care Hitting Families Harder
A child’s chronic illness can strain a family emotionally and financially — and children represent the fastest growing health care spending group in America, according to a new report.
Diabetes on the Rise Among Teenagers
A study found a sharp increase in the disease’s prevalence among teens, adding to worries that diabetes may progress more rapidly in children than in adults.
Fewer Girls Completing All Three HPV Shots: Study
Among girls and women who get their first human papillomavirus, or HPV, vaccine, the percent who complete all three doses is dropping, according to a new study.
Stay-at-Home Moms More Depressed than Working Moms, Study Finds
A Gallup survey of 60,000 women found that stay-at-home moms are more likely to have felt depression, sadness, anger and worry than working mothers.
Texas Sextuplets Improving, 3 Breathing on Own
A hospital official says three of the premature sextuplets born last month in Houston are now breathing on their own.
Wednesday, December 1st, 2010
Editor’s Note: Guest blogger Malaak-Compton Rock (wife of comedian Chris Rock) is a mother of two daughters who is very passionate about making a change in communities around the world. She is the author of “If It Takes a Village, Build One,” and the founder of Angel Rock Project, an organization with a global volunteer exchange program for at-risk youth called Journey for Change. In this guest blog entry, Malaak-Compton Rock writes about how parents can ensure babies are born HIV-free in five years.
The AIDS Free Generation Is Due in 2015
By Malaak Compton-Rock
Today is World AIDS Day, which may not resonate with a lot of people the way it did years ago when AIDS was an urgent health crisis in our country. This year, however, I’m writing to sound the alarm and make sure that we start to pay attention again.
We are poised to achieve one of the most important goals in the historic fight against AIDS and one that is especially relevant to all of us as parents.
Within five years, we can create the first generation of babies born HIV-free in three decades.
Let that sink in for a moment.
For the first time since this disease started ravaging our society (and killed more than 25 million people), we have a shot to give an entire generation a healthy start.
It won’t be easy. It will take hard work. But, it is completely possible.
Categories: Babies, GoodyBlog, Health & Safety, Your Child | Tags: (RED), AIDS, Babies, health, Health & Safety, Health Care, health crisis, HIV, HIV-positive, Malaak Compton-Rock, virus, world aids day
Wednesday, October 27th, 2010
Thanks to health care reform, individuals can now take care of personal health needs with IRS-sheltered flex accounts. Unless they’re breast-feeding moms.
The IRS states breastfeeding doesn’t have “enough health benefits to qualify as a form of medical care,” according to The New York Times–which means you won’t be able to use your new tax-free flexible spending account for breast pumps.
Basically, it comes down to whether breastfeeding is considered preventative care, or just nutrition. The flexible spending accounts are tax-free and, according to the Times, could apply to denture tape, acne cream, and the replacement of grass with astroturf for parents of children with allergies.
Advocates for seeing breastfeeding as preventative care point out that the antibodies in breast milk prevent disease, “including one recent study that found it could prevent the premature death of 900 babies a year.”
Breast pumps, which could cost $500-$1000, are a loaded topic because they are instrumental in enabling new moms to juggle care for their babies and go back to work.
What do you think about breast pumps not being covered under health care?