Clinical Practice: Open Enrollment: We’ve Got Women Covered

With open enrollment starting November 1 in most marketplaces, now is the time to remind your patients to explore their options and ensure that they sign up for 2018 health insurance. They must sign up no later than the December 15 deadline to guarantee coverage January 1.

Remind your patients that women can receive vital preventative services at zero out-of-pocket cost thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). These services include:

  • Annual well-woman visits
  • Breast cancer screenings
  • Cervical cancer screenings
  • Gestational diabetes mellitus testing
  • HIV infection testing
  • Interpersonal and domestic violence screening
  • Breastfeeding services and supplies
  • Counseling for sexually transmitted infections
  • Contraception

These important benefits are available because the ACA requires most insurance plans to cover evidence-based, recommended preventive services for women without cost-sharing—a provision known as the Women’s Preventive Services Guidelines.

The guidelines were originally established in 2011 based on recommendations from a Department of Health and Human Services-commissioned study conducted by the Institute of Medicine, now known as the National Academy of Medicine. More recently, ACOG led the effort to update the recommendations with a coalition of national health professional organizations and consumer and patient advocates. The revised guidelines will become effective on December 20, 2017 and will apply to nearly all 2018 plans.

Read the final Women’s Preventative Services Initiative Report now.

Open Enrollment Patient Resources

Do your patients know the facts about health insurance? Here are five things your patients need to know:

  1. You must sign up by December 15. If you want 2018 coverage, there is just the one deadline. Beat the rush and sign up early
  2. Coverage could be more affordable than you think. Last year, 8 in 10 people qualified for financial help—for most people, that meant they could find premiums between $50 and $100 per month. You should definitely check out your options and see if you could save even more on your out-of-pocket costs by choosing a silver plan
  3. Coverage is Mandatory. There is a minimum penalty of $695 for not having health insurance
  4. If you already have coverage, shop and save. Already have health coverage through On November 1, head back to update your information and compare your options for 2018. There may be plans available that save you money
  5. Free in-person help is available. If you have questions about signing up or want to talk through your options with a trained professional, free help is just a call or click away. Call 1-800-318-2596 or visit

Download the 5 Facts Flyer now to give to your patients.

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
409 12th Street SW, Washington, DC  20024-2188
Mailing Address: PO Box 96920, Washington, DC 20024-9998