Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Washington Post Features

August 28, 2012

Women fare better than men in new health law

The Affordable Care Act of 2010 greatly expanded women's access to free preventive services, particularly for sexual and reproductive health. Men didn't fare nearly as well.

The ACA guidelines' promise of free contraception may have generated the most controversy, but the law also provides many other services for women, including free screening for HIV, chlamydia and gonorrhea, and pregnancy-related benefits such as screening for gestational diabetes, and breast-feeding support, supplies and counseling.

Under the law, new health plans or those whose benefits have changed substantially are required to provide four types of preventive care without any co-payments or other forms of cost-sharing: services recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, immunizations recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and preventive services and screenings for women and for children that are recommended by the Health Resources and Services Administration.

Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., championed adding women's preventive services recommended by HRSA following an outcry over a Preventive Services Task Force recommendation that regular mammography screening for most women begin at age 50 rather than age 40. In a separate amendment, she successfully pushed to reinstate the earlier recommendations that called for mammography screening starting at age 40.

---

The new law requires most health plans to begin providing free contraceptives to women when their new plan year begins this fall or next year. It covers all FDA-approved methods, including permanent ones such as tubal ligation. But since its scope is limited to women's services, it does not offer free coverage for vasectomies.

Men's health specialists say both men and women could have benefited from such a requirement. Even though they're generally simpler and less expensive than female sterilization, cost can be a factor that deters men from getting vasectomies.

Text Only
Washington Post Features
  • Victimized by the 'marriage penalty'

    In a few short months, I'll pass the milestone that every little girl dreams of: the day she swears - before family and God, in sickness and in health, all in the name of love - that she's willing to pay a much higher tax rate.

    April 17, 2014

  • To sleep well, you may need to adjust what you eat and when

    Sleep.  Oh, to sleep.  A good night's sleep is often a struggle for more than half of American adults.  And for occasional insomnia, there are good reasons to avoid using medications, whether over-the-counter or prescription.

    April 17, 2014

  • Search teams will send unmanned sub to look for missing Malaysian airliner

    Teams searching for a missing Malaysian airliner are planning for the first time to send an unmanned submarine into the depths of the Indian Ocean to look for wreckage, an Australian official leading the multi-nation search said Monday.

    April 15, 2014

  • DayCareCosts.jpg Day care's cost can exceed college tuition in some states

    Most parents will deal with an even larger kid-related expense long before college, and it's a cost that very few of them are as prepared for: day care.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • 10 tips for surviving a severe allergy season

    My colleague Brady Dennis reported recently that the arrival of warmer weather will soon unleash a pollen tsunami in parts of the country where the winter has been especially long and cold. Here are some survival tips from Clifford W. Bassett, an allergy specialist and assistant clinical professor of medicine at the New York University School of Medicine.

    April 9, 2014

  • news_twitter.jpg Travelers fly on Air Twitter

    The enlightened age of social media has dawned over the airline industry, casting shadows over telephone call centers and on-site agents. Facebook and Twitter are racking up the friends and followers while the hold music plays on.

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • To get quality care, it helps to be the right kind of patient

    I am a family physician. Sometimes I must step out of the comfort of my clinical role and into that of patient or family caregiver. Generally, these trips to the other side of the exam table inspire a fair amount of anxiety.

    April 8, 2014

  • Fast, cheap test can help save lives of many babies

    As Easley did more research into her daughter's death, she learned that a pilot program had started just months earlier at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, Md. (Easley had delivered at a different hospital in the Washington area.) The program's goal was to screen every newborn with a simple pulse oximeter test that can help detect heart problems such as Veronica's, allowing doctors to respond.

    April 8, 2014

  • At many leading schools, football fails to make cut

    To my astonishment, 67 of the top 100 schools, ranked by participation in college-level tests, said they do not field a team, denoting a shift in American high school culture, at least in those schools that challenge their students most.

    April 7, 2014

  • pizza-300x216.jpg VIDEO: Pepperoni, extra cheese and...pot?

    A Vancouver pizzeria has added a unique item to its menu: Customers with a prescription can order pizza infused with marijuana.

    April 1, 2014 1 Photo