NCJW Hails Start of New Health Benefits for Women
August 1, 2012, Washington, DC — The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) has hailed the inauguration of a new package of preventive health benefits for women to be made available without copays or other out-of-pocket fees beginning today under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The benefits will be included in all new insurance plans and in existing plans as they are renewed. NCJW CEO Nancy K. Kaufman released the following statement:
“The long-awaited standard package of health care benefits for women to be provided in new health insurance plans and those renewed today and hereafter under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a huge step forward for women and for the goal of universal affordable health care. The new benefits will be offered by private health insurers as a standard part of every insurance policy without copays or other extra fees. NCJW fought hard for these provisions to be included in the new law and we are gratified to see them finally take effect.
“The benefits now available include a well-woman visit every year to obtain standard preventive services, and additional ones as needed; screening for gestational diabetes as appropriate; and testing every three years for women 30 or older that can help reduce the prevalence of cervical cancer. Sexually-active women can now access counseling regarding sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and obtain HIV/AIDS testing without added cost.
“The new benefits also include access to all contraceptive methods approved by the Food and Drug Administration, with a limited exception for those working for faith-based employers, as well as access to sterilization procedures and related patient education. Pregnant and postpartum women will have access to the counseling and equipment needed for breastfeeding. Finally, the ACA will ensure coverage of screening and counseling for interpersonal and domestic violence.
“The availability of these benefits without extra charge will save lives, reduce suffering, and bring downs costs by increasing early detection of many conditions. As the ACA takes full effect between now and 2014, NCJW looks forward to many more such advances for our nation’s health care system. It is disappointing to see continued attacks in the courts and elsewhere, particularly on the contraceptive benefit, but NCJW will fight to preserve the gains made under ACA.”
The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms.
Contact: Brianne Nadeau