The new health reform law, the Affordable Care Act, bodes well for as many as 30 million women -- a number that includes 15 million women who are uninsured, according to a new report issued by the Commonwealth Fund, a private health research firm in New York City.
This new report is the first in a series that will look at how health care reform will affect specific populations.
While women as a group are just as likely as men to be uninsured, they are more likely to have medical debt, bill problems, and have trouble getting insurance," Karen Davis, the Commonwealth Fund president, said during a telephone conference. "This report brings good news to all women who will now be more likely to get the care they need with a reduced risk of incurring the unaffordable medical bills that have affected so many Americans."
The full report is here (.pdf). For all of its flaws (and there are flaws), the benefits are there. Over time, specifics will follow. More for women:
There will also be bans on the cancellation of an insurance policy when a person is sick. "This will affect a number of women who could have had their health insurance rescinded," Collins tells WebMD.
What's more, there will be full coverage of preventive tests such as mammograms, cervical cancer screening, genetic counseling, testing for breast cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2, and other screening exams under the new plan.
About 7.3 million women aged 19 to 64 were turned down when they tried to buy an insurance plan, charged a higher rate than men, or had a pre-existing condition excluded when they tried to buy in, she says. But in 2014, insurers must say yes to all and can't charge higher premiums based on health status or gender.
Oh, and one more thing.