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Results tagged “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” from Blog for Choice

The Supreme Court announced that it would take up two cases concerning the no-cost birth-control policy that's part of the Affordable Care Act. We can all agree that medical decisions belong between you and your doctor, not your boss.

Yet, the bosses in these cases and dozens more have filed suits arguing that it's their right to deny their employees birth-control coverage. Totally ridiculous, right?

Check out our Buzzfeed list of seven bosses you would never want in charge of your reproductive-health care and access to birth control.

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Just over one year ago, Obamacare made contraceptive services available to women at no out-of-pocket cost, thanks in large part to your hard work. Under the new health-care law, prescription birth control, mammograms, STI counseling and treatment, and other services are now available without a co-pay. This is huge. Because over half of women 18-34 have struggled to afford prescription birth control, ensuring access to affordable birth control marks the greatest advancement for women's health in a generation. And already it's helped more than 27 million women. But even as we celebrate the benefit's first anniversary, many women are still footing the bill for their birth control. And they want to know why.

If this has happened to you, you're not alone. Since the birth-control policy first went into effect on August 1, 2012, women's health advocates have heard similar stories--those of women facing co-pays at the pharmacy counter and insurance companies falling short of delivering on the law's full promise. 

Here's what we know and what you can do if this is happening to you:


First, remember that Obamacare requires that all "new" health plans must comply with the contraceptive coverage requirement. "New" means plans that were created or purchased after Obamacare was enacted. Old plans--called "grandfathered" plans--don't have to comply. But keep in mind that "grandfathered" plans won't be grandfathered forever--if they change their plans in a substantial way, they lose that status. In fact, we expect 90% of grandfathered plans to lose their status in the next year or so, at which point they will be required to comply and provide birth control without a co-pay. So if your plan is grandfathered, that might be the reason you're still being charged a co-pay. Ask your benefits administrator if your health plan is grandfathered.

But if you're being charged a co-pay, it could also be because your insurance company believes that Obamacare allows it to pick and choose the contraceptives they cover cost-free. They have some wiggle room, to be sure. But even so, the birth-control policy is stronger than some companies think it is. Here's the skinny.

Some insurance companies are interpreting a section of the law that lets them control costs to also allow them to charge a co-pay for some forms of birth control but not others. This is why some women are being told that they can't get the Nuva Ring without co-pay, or that only generics are covered without a co-pay. Our allies raised concerns about this, and here's what the government said in reply:

  • Your insurance company can charge you a co-pay for a name-brand contraceptive, but only if there's also a generic version available. If there isn't a generic version, they have to cover the name-brand drug without a co-pay.
  • And if your doctor determines that the name-brand drug is "medically appropriate" for you, then your insurance company must provide a waiver process that will let you get your name-brand birth control without a co-pay (see question 14 of the FAQs: http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq-aca12.html). (Keep in mind, this is different than the typical appeal consumers file when they're denied coverage for a service.)

If you're one of the women experiencing problems here, head over to the National Women's Law Center (NWLC) website--they've built a toolkit to help you fight for the coverage Obamacare says you should have. Its got answers to the questions women are asking, a fantastic script to use when you call your insurance company for answers, and sample letters to send your insurance company if they charge a co-pay for your specific type of birth control.

You can also call NWLC at 1-866-PILL4US. They may have already received complaints like yours and can more quickly point you to a solution.

The bottom line is, don't give up! It may take some work, but we fought too hard for birth-control coverage to give up easily! Not only that, but the work you do to educate your insurance company could make all the difference in the world for other women in your plan who may be missing out on the birth-control benefit.

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The anti-choice leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives just can't help themselves.

They're like Captain Ahab and Wile E. Coyote combined with their mad obsession with destroying the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare.

And even though the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare, the House will vote again tomorrow to repeal this landmark piece of legislation--the 31st attempt by the anti-choice House leadership to invalidate the law.

And just what are they voting to repeal?

  • Improving women's access to maternity care
  • Covering birth control without a copay
  • Allowing young adults to stay on their parents' insurance plans until age 26.
  • Refusing to let insurance companies discriminate against women.

What planet are these people living on?

Instead of taking action to create jobs and grow our economy, anti-choice members of the House are voting to attack our health care--again.

Call your representative at 202-224-3121, and tell him or her that enough is enough: vote NO on this latest attack on health care.

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Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare!

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Good news: this morning, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare!

The law will bring 30 million Americans into a health-care system that includes affordable family-planning services, better access to contraception, and maternity care.

It's a HUGE victory for American women!

A group of my NARAL Pro-Choice America colleagues was out on the Supreme Court steps this morning speaking out for Obamacare.


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Unfortunately, anti-choice politicians in Congress are still trying to repeal the health-care law. In fact, less than an hour after the Supreme Court issued its ruling, anti-choice U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell went to the floor of the Senate to call for a repeal of the law.

That's why we must tell Congress that enough is enough: no more attacks on our health care.

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Today wraps up National Women's Health Week.

This week, NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC endorsed President Obama's re-election campaign. The president is the only candidate in this race who will stand up for women's health, and we're going to give 110 percent to make sure he's re-elected.

Here at Blog for Choice, we've been sharing stories about how Obamacare helps women get quality, affordable health care.

The Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, allows many small-business owners and self-employed Americans to get affordable health care for the first time. That's great news for Sarah in Minnesota:

I am a professional working woman who recently left a well-paying job to start my own consultancy and independent projects. As I build my contacts and résumé, I'm not making very much money. Thanks to a state-sponsored family-planning program, I'm able to access very low-cost birth control. This ability to prevent pregnancy while I build my financial stability for myself and my partner is an important part of my goals for a healthy, inspired work life. People might not connect these two things (birth control and financial security), but they are absolutely interdependent.

Millions of Americans' access to health care depends on keeping President Obama in the White House. It's as simple as that.

Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

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It's National Women's Health Week, and here at Blog for Choice, we're sharing stories about how Obamacare helps women--and men--get quality, affordable health care.

The Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, prohibits insurance companies from discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions. That's great news for Ted in Wisconsin and his kids:

After losing our employer-sponsored health insurance, our family of five was uninsured for months. We had so many pre-existing conditions, such as our kids' asthma, every private insurance company denied our application for coverage. I'm happy that insurance companies can no longer deny coverage my asthmatic children. It's terrifying to witness your children struggling to breathe, knowing there's no way to afford the preventative medication they desperately need. To overturn the health-care law would return our family to the days of this terrifying desperation. To deny even children the basic right of accessible and affordable health care would be a moral outrage.

Thanks to Obamacare, Ted and his children can breathe a little easier. Literally.

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It's National Women's Health Week, and here at Blog for Choice, we're sharing stories about how Obamacare helps women get quality, affordable health care.

Obamacare's full name is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Here's how the law makes health care affordable for Donna in Pennsylvania:

Without the Affordable Care Act my daughter, born with cerebral palsy, would not have health-care coverage after she finishes college. My family earns too much to be eligible for aid from the government or any charitable foundations (which means we earn over the poverty line). The Affordable Care Act will allow my daughter to be covered for an additional three years while she finds work and helps us pay down her tuition bills.

Obamacare means that, for millions of Americans, health care will be affordable for the very first time.

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This week is National Women's Health Week, an opportunity to recognize the need for women to have control over their own health care and family-planning decisions.

And now, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a Obamacare, we have a lot to celebrate when it comes to women's health.

Just how does Obamacare benefit women? Each day this week, we'll share a story here at Blog for Choice about how the law helps real women get quality, affordable health care.

Today, we're focusing on the no-cost birth control policy, which will give women near-universal contraceptive coverage. Let's hear from Amanda in Ohio:

At the age of 23 I was a working professional, but still unable to afford the cost of insurance. (At that time, young people stopped being covered by their parents' insurance soon after their college graduation.) Although I was working full-time as an intern to further my career, my employer did not cover my insurance, nor could I afford to pay it. Hence, I was not on birth control for two years before I decided to return to grad school. The institution I attended mandated that students without health care purchase insurance through the school, which I did. However, the full cost of birth control was not covered and I could not afford the monthly co-pay. At this point, I had been off birth control for at least three years.

During the spring of my first year of grad school, I experienced a ruptured ovarian cyst. The pain associated with this was excruciating, beyond anything I have experienced before in my life. It actually felt like an organ had burst inside of me. I could barely walk, or even think, I was in so much pain. A friend rushed me to the emergency room, where I underwent eight hours of testing (x-rays, ultrasounds, etc.) before they could figure out what had happened since the amount of fluid and tissue from the ruptured cyst was so great. After the painful ordeal and recovery, I had to visit an ob-gyn where I learned that being on birth control actually prevented the formation of cysts. I subsequently went on birth control, though it meant I had to borrow money to pay for the copay.

Although I followed protocol and contacted my insurance prior to going to the emergency room, they still would not pay because I did not go to the university health center, which is not equipped for emergency situations. If it took a hospital eight hours to diagnose and treat me, I wonder how a health center without emergency treatment capabilities would have fared?

The insurance company still refuses to cover the service and the $5,000 has been in dispute for years, while negatively impacting my credit and ability to apply for loans.

Basically, because I could not afford insurance or birth control copay as a young woman in my early and mid twenties, (that would have prevented cysts from developing), I now face thousands of dollars of debt, bad credit, and a diminished quality of life as a result.

The new policy will prevent this situation from happening to other young women who dream of having both a professional career and a healthy body. I don't think that is too much to ask...

Fortunately for women like Amanda, Obamacare means that insurance plans will cover the medicine they need without a copay.

Unfortunately, anti-choice politicians like Mitt Romney are fighting tooth and nail to make it harder for women like Amanda to get the health care they need. They're pushing for the Supreme Court to overturn the health-care law, and if that doesn't work, they'll try to repeal it in Congress.

That would have devastating consequences for women like Amanda.

Check back here at Blog for Choice every day this week to read more personal stories!

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Two years ago today, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law.

Every day this week, Blog for Choice is sharing a story from someone who has benefited from this landmark health-reform law.

Today's story comes from Alison in Washington:

Thanks to the new health care law, I was able to stay on my parents' health insurance plan after college. If the law is repealed and I am no longer able to be on their health insurance, I don't know if I will be able to cover all of the costs for my health care.

The health-reform law is a big deal for women like Alison. They're the ones who would lose if it were overturned.

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Another Story on How Health Reform Helps Women

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Every day this week, Blog for Choice is sharing a story from someone who has benefited from the Affordable Care Act, the landmark health-reform law that President Obama signed two years ago.

Today we hear from Maggie in Georgia, who writes about her daughter:

My daughter has to take birth-control pills for severe polycystic ovary syndrome. Last year, she had to have surgery to remove two huge cysts from one of her ovaries and almost lost the ovary. If her insurance were not paying for the pills, she and her husband could not afford them.

It's women like Maggie's daughter who would lose if the health-reform law is overturned.

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Real Stories on Why Health Reform Helps Women

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Friday marks the two-year anniversary of President Obama signing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law.

This landmark piece of legislation brings 30 million Americans into a health-care system that includes affordable family-planning services, better access to contraception, and maternity care. It represents one of the greatest advances for women's health in a generation.

Every day this week, Blog for Choice will share a story from someone who has benefited from the health-reform law.

Today, we hear from Karen in Michigan:

So far, the health-care program has paid for my mammogram, a Pap smear, and three immunizations. I could get by without them for a year, or I could pay my own way with my $150/week salary. More importantly, at age 59-plus, I would soon be priced out of the insurance market. I could potentially have a heart attack or stroke and die because I couldn't afford to pay for care. I don't want to be bankrupt, and I don't want to be a burden to my family. Yet, I am the only one in my immediate family who works, but insurance isn't offered and I don't qualify for Medicaid.

Next week, the Supreme Court will begin to hear three days of arguments from opponents who want to overturn the Affordable Care Act.

If these efforts are successful, the results would be devastating for women like Karen.

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Health-Care Reform: One Year Later

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One year ago today, President Obama signed the landmark health-care-reform bill into law. 

Known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, this law presents an historic opportunity to improve America's health‐care system, which is woefully inadequate from a reproductive‐health perspective.  When the bill passed, we expressed our opposition to its terrible restrictions on abortion coverage. However, we also acknowledged the law's positive provisions, and continue to celebrate them today.

For example, the law holds the promise of no-cost birth control. This means that women could get their prescriptions for birth control filled without a copay

The federal government will decide later this year whether to include no-cost birth control as part of the law's implementation. NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation has launched the BC4ME campaign to make sure the government follows through on this promise.

The health-reform law also classifies prenatal care as an essential health benefit, meaning that it must be included in all new insurance plans offered to individuals and small businesses. Since last September, preventive care needed during a pregnancy must be covered by health plans at no cost.

Sadly, the very first thing the new anti-choice leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives did when it convened in January was vote to repeal the health-reform law entirely

Goodbye, prenatal care! So long, no-cost contraception!

And as we know, Speaker John Boehner and his anti-choice allies didn't stop at repealing the health-care-reform law. They've launched a far-reaching anti-choice agenda. 

So, one year after the health-reform law was passed, pro-choice Americans have a clear challenge: to preserve the law's promises of improved reproductive-health care, and to fight back against a barrage of anti-choice attacks. 

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