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August 1 Marks Huge Step Forward In Women's Access to Comprehensive Well-Woman Care

July 31, 2012

Washington, DC -- The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) strongly supports provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which, effective August 1, guarantee women covered by most employer-sponsored health insurance plans comprehensive well-woman care with no co-pays or deductibles. ACOG worked closely with the US Congress, the Institute of Medicine, and the US Department and Health and Human Services to ensure this important coverage. 

“Today, our nation affirms the importance of a woman’s ability to access needed preventive care,” says ACOG President James T. Breeden, MD. “An annual well-woman visit is a fundamental part of medical care and promotes prevention practices, recognizes risk factors for disease, identifies medical problems, and establishes the often life-long patient-physician relationship. This annual visit provides an excellent opportunity for ob-gyns to counsel patients about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and minimizing health risks.

 “Planned pregnancies—for which most women require contraception—allow women to optimize their own health before pregnancy and childbirth, leading to healthier pregnancies and healthier babies. An unintended pregnancy may worsen a woman’s preexisting health condition, such as diabetes, hypertension, or coronary artery disease. Planned pregnancies improve the health of children because adequate birth spacing reduces the risk of low birth weight and preterm birth,” adds Dr. Breeden.

The new law ensures that important services, including preconception care, screening and counseling for intimate partner violence, and lactation support, are covered by employer health plans. As an organization committed to helping women of all ages achieve and maintain healthy lives, ACOG looks forward to sharing this news with its members and their patients. “Along with ACOG’s commitment to the many positive aspects of the ACA, we maintain our commitment to addressing serious flaws in the law and working with the US Congress to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board and to pass medical liability reform,” says Dr. Breeden.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College), a 501(c)(3) organization, is the nation’s leading group of physicians providing health care for women. As a private, voluntary, nonprofit membership organization of approximately 55,000 members, The College strongly advocates for quality health care for women, maintains the highest standards of clinical practice and continuing education of its members, promotes patient education, and increases awareness among its members and the public of the changing issues facing women’s health care. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a 501(c)(6) organization, is its companion organization. www.acog.org

 

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