Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) today hailed the passage of the important Women’s Health Amendment, offered by Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), to the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” The amendment will guarantee health insurance coverage for women’s basic preventive care and screenings at no cost to the patient.
“More than 90 percent of the care Planned Parenthood affiliate health centers provide is preventive and primary, and the doctors and nurses who deliver that care witness on a daily basis the real need to ensure that women have access to critical tests, screenings, and regular checkups. That’s because preventive health care is lifesaving health care,” said PPFA President Cecile Richards. “Women of childbearing age spend 68 percent more in out-of-pocket health care costs than men, in part because of reproductive health-related needs. It is time that women’s health is made a priority, and providing affordable access to essential care is key. We applaud Senator Mikulski and her colleagues for working to make sure that women are better off under health care reform.”
The Women’s Health Amendment would require health plans to cover comprehensive preventive care and screenings that address women’s unique health care needs without cost sharing. Currently, coverage of comprehensive preventive health care is not guaranteed at zero cost sharing under the bill — for example, regular well-women visits, breast exams, and contraceptive services are not required to be covered at zero cost sharing.
This amendment would require that, in addition to the care and screenings specified in the recommendations of the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), the women’s preventive care outlined by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)-supported guidance would also be covered at no cost to patients. The Women’s Health Amendment is critical to guaranteeing that access to women’s comprehensive preventive health care is increased under the health care reform bill.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 700 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433
May 14, 2014