Access to quality, affordable care - this is what the health care law has promised to give us. Through my work with Raising Women’s Voices for the Health Care We Need (RWV), I know that this promise is already starting to come true and will continue to do so as more of the law is implemented. From being able to get important preventive health services without co-pays to eliminating lifetime limits and allowing young adults up to 26 stay on their parent’s insurance plans, I realize that the law touches me and my family in so many ways that are truly helping us to stay healthy.
This week is National Women’s Health Week, a time devoted to empowering women to make their health a top priority. One essential way women can do this is by understanding and spreading the word about all the great benefits the health care law provides to their friends and family. YOU can do this, right now, by going to RWV’s Countdown to Coverage campaign website and reading one of our checklist of benefits and sharing one with your friend or family member.
Last week, I had the opportunity to share a benefit with a family member when my 22 year old cousin asked me to explain how contraceptive coverage is going to work – I was practically giddy that a member of my family pro-actively sought information from me instead of my usual attempts to slip it in during family gatherings! It reminded me that people do want to learn more about the law and are curious about how they stand to gain from it.
The health care law has already done A LOT to help me and my family and will continue to do so. With an extended family of over 50 people, the list could go on and go, but here are just a few: My grandmother, on Medicare, can now get her annual wellness exam and personalized prevention plan with her primary care provider without co-pays. My two sister-in-laws, starting August 1st, will be able to get their annual well-woman preventive care visit without co-pays. My four nieces and nephews will get their immunizations without co-pays and every woman in my family that uses contraception will no longer have to pay their co-pays either. See a pattern? The law helps more people get the services they need by eliminating co-pays, a significant barrier to access, for a whole host of preventive health services for adults and children.
It also helps us sustain continued coverage and protects us against discriminatory health insurer practices. My 24 year old cousin, who doesn’t have health care insurance with her job, can stay on my aunt and uncle’s health plan until she turns 26. My nephew, born without his right forearm, will never be denied health care coverage because of a pre-existing condition or reach a lifetime limit of coverage due to his surgery as an infant and prosthetics. These are real changes to the health care system that my family can thank the Affordable Care Act for.
This is OUR incredible true story of the Affordable Care Act. What’s yours?