LatinaLista — The passage of the Affordable Care Act or ‘ObamaCare’ makes it easier for women to stay healthy. Under the bill, women are eligible to receive the following services without a co-pay or any cost sharing:
Well-woman visits: This includes an annual well-woman preventive care visit for adult women to obtain the recommended preventive services, plus additional visits if women and their doctors determine they’re necessary.
Gestational diabetes screening: This screening is for women 24 to 28 weeks pregnant, and those at high risk of developing gestational diabetes. Women who have gestational diabetes have an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in the future, and their children are at a significantly increased risk of being overweight and insulin-resistant throughout childhood.
HPV DNA testing: Women who are 30 or older will now have access to high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) 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: Sexually active women may receive annual counseling on sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The sessions have been shown to reduce risky behavior in patients, but only 28% of women aged 18 to 44 discuss STIs with a doctor or nurse.
HIV screening and counseling: Sexually active women can receive annual counseling on HIV. Women are at increased risk of becoming infected with HIV: from 1999 to 2003, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a 15% increase in AIDS cases among women, and a 1% increase among men.
Contraception and contraceptive counseling: Women will have free access to all government-approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures and patient education and counseling. This does not include abortion drugs. Most workers in employer-sponsored plans are currently covered for contraceptives; however, employers with religious affiliations will not be required to pay for birth control. Rather, insurance companies providing health plans to such employers will cover the cost.
Breast-feeding 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.
Interpersonal and domestic violence screening and counseling: Screening and counseling for interpersonal and domestic violence is provided free for all adolescent and adult women. An estimated 25% of women in the U.S. report being targets of intimate partner violence during their lifetimes.
However, women must remain vigilant about their own health. Unfortunately, when it comes to breast health, younger women, unless there is a family history of breast cancer, tend to ignore or dismiss the telltale signs that something could be seriously wrong.
That’s why Planned Parenthood has released a new video targeting women under 40 to take control of their breast health. The video explains how important it is for women to notice and report to their doctors the slightest changes to their breasts that they feel isn’t normal.
“Too often women under 40 dismiss a lump as something that does not need attention, or the fear of what an abnormality could be becomes paralyzing,” said Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Senior Director of Medical Services, Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “Our goal is to break down those myths and fears, and provide women with more information so that they can be their own best breast expert. This video helps do that.”
In addition to the video, Planned Parenthood Federation of America will host a Twitter Town Hall tomorrow, Tuesday, October 9 at 1 p.m. EST. The discussion will be lead by a breast cancer expert and a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Michigan. The online conversation will allow individuals to ask questions by using the hash tag #betterbreasthealth or mentioning @PPFAQ.