2012-08-23 / Community

Women target of new PSA

LANSING – A new Public Service Announcement to inform the public of the benefits available to women via the Affordable Care Act has been released. These new benefits took effect on Aug. 1, and include a number of new tests and screenings that women can now receive with no co-pay. The PSA was created in collaboration with Michigan Consumers for Healthcare and the Michigan Radio Network and will run on 51 commercial radio stations throughout the state.

Below are the additional women’s preventive services and the unique preventive services women need that will now be covered without cost sharing (copay) requirements:

•Well-woman visits: This includes an annual well-woman preventive care visit for adult women to obtain the recommended preventive services, and additional visits if women and their providers determine they are necessary. These visits help women and their doctors determine what preventive services are appropriate, and set up a plan to help women get the care they need to be healthy.

•Gestational diabetes screening: This screening is for women 24 to 28 weeks pregnant, and those at high risk of developing gestational diabetes. It helps improve the health of mothers and babies because women who have gestational diabetes have an increased risk of developing type two diabetes in the future.

•HPV DNA testing: Women who are 30 or older now have access to high-risk human papillomavirus DNA testing every three years, regardless of pap smear results. Early screening, detection, and treatment have been shown to help reduce the prevalence of cervical cancer.

•STI counseling, and HIV screening and counseling: Sexually-active women will now have access to annual counseling on HIV and sexually transmitted infections. These sessions have been shown to reduce risky behavior in patients, yet only 28% of women aged 18 to 44 years reported that they had discussed STIs with a doctor or nurse.

•Contraception and contraceptive counseling: Women will have access to all Food and DrugAdministrationapproved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling. These recommendations do not include abortifacient drugs. Most workers in employer-sponsored plans are currently covered for contraceptives.

•Breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling: Pregnant and postpartum women now have access to comprehensive lactation support and counseling from trained providers, as well as breastfeeding equipment. Breastfeeding is one of the most effective preventive measures mothers can take to protect their children’s and their own health. One of the barriers for breastfeeding is the cost of purchasing or renting breast pumps and nursing related supplies.

•Domestic violence screening: Screening and counseling for interpersonal and domestic violence is now provided for all women.

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