Planned Parenthood Celebrates Key Affordable Care Act Milestone for Women's Preventive Care
GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Today, August 1, 2012, Planned Parenthood of West and Northern Michigan (PPWNM) celebrates a critical milestone for women’s preventive health under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Specifically, the birth control benefit that begins going into effect today will start making birth control available at no cost to women, providing essential preventive care and easing the strain on household budgets.
“As a regional leader in women’s health care, PPWNM sees the need for affordable care every single day. The birth control benefit is critical for women and families — not just for their health but also for their pocketbooks,” said Kathy Humphrey, president/CEO of PPWNM. “For many of our clients birth control is a necessity. The preventive benefits that begin rolling out today will help ease the struggle for women who often must decide whether to pay for birth control or pay for textbooks, groceries, or gas for the car.”
The birth control benefit will start August 1, 2012, for women on new private insurance plans, and will continue to take effect for other plans over the coming year. Women are urged to check with their insurance company to find out when this benefit kicks in for them.
“Planned Parenthood health centers have been serving patients with private insurance for decades, and the eight PPWNM health centers in west and northern Michigan will be here for newly insured women — just as we are for all women who want quality health care from a provider they can trust,” said Humphrey.
Nearly 800 Planned Parenthood health centers serve nearly three million patients every year and one in five women in America relies on Planned Parenthood at some point in her life. PPWNM serves nearly 15,000 clients per year at its eight health centers, offering 100 percent preventive and potentially life-saving services which include cancer screenings, birth control, prevention and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, wellness exams, and sexual health education and information.
The Affordable Care Act is the greatest advance for women’s health in a generation. As the benefits for women’s preventive care continue to roll out, millions of women will gain access to basic preventive care at no cost, including birth control, cancer screenings, well-woman exams, and screenings for diabetes and high blood pressure. Additionally, under the ACA, women will no longer have to pay more for health insurance than men and people can no longer be denied insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions like breast cancer, having a C-section, or being the victim of domestic violence.
Planned Parenthood of West and Northern Michigan provides sexual health care and sexuality education services, with locations in eight Michigan cities. Learn more at www.ppwnm.org.