Let’s face it: health insurance is confusing. We’re here to help you figure out what the law means for you.
What’s going on with the ACA?
The Affordable Care Act (also known as the ACA or Obamacare) is still the law of the land. There were efforts in Congress to repeal the ACA, but those efforts were defeated and the law is still in place. And, even though there have been administrative changes to the ACA (as discussed more below), you can still purchase affordable, comprehensive coverage on the Marketplaces.
You can purchase affordable health coverage through Health insurance Marketplaces (Healthcare.gov, or your state Marketplace), which are websites where you can compare insurance plans and see if you qualify for financial assistance.
Under the ACA:
Most plans must cover preventive health services — such as birth control and well-woman exams — without any cost to you.
Most plans must cover essential health benefits, like maternity and newborn care.
You can stay on your parent’s health insurance plan until you’re 26.
Insurers can’t deny you coverage or charge you more if you have a pre-existing health condition.
Insurers can no longer charge you more simply for being a woman.
Do I need health insurance to visit Planned Parenthood?
Whether you have insurance or not, you can always visit your local Planned Parenthood health center for the care you need, when you need it.
Many health insurance plans include Planned Parenthood as an in-network provider, meaning your insurer will pay for all or most of the cost of your health care. You can call your insurance company or your local Planned Parenthood health center to find out if Planned Parenthood is in-network with your health insurance plan. Find a Planned Parenthood health center near you.
Which health insurance plans cover the prescription birth control you use?
Most plans must cover the full range of prescription birth control methods (pill, implants, IUDs, etc.) for free with no out of pocket costs. This includes birth control pills, implants, hormonal IUDs, non-hormonal IUDs, the vaginal ring, the patch, the shot, emergency contraception, etc. But some plans will require cost-sharing for certain brands, so check with the insurer to be sure the birth control you need is covered for free, and if not, find out how much it will cost.
Will my insurance plan cover abortion?
Abortion coverage varies from state to state and plan to plan. Some states have banned coverage of abortion altogether, and some plans just don’t cover abortion services and procedures.
Do all insurance plans have to provide the same coverage?
Under the ACA, it was intended that all plans sold on the Health Insurance Marketplaces provide high quality, affordable coverage. However, the Trump administration recently finalized a rule that would permit low-quality, junk plans to be sold on the Marketplaces, alongside ACA-compliant plans. These plans, known as short-term plans, do not have to cover maternity coverage, birth control, or other basic health care services, and these plans are permitted to engage in discriminatory practices such as charging women more for coverage and denying people with pre-existing conditions coverage. Consumers should be weary of enrolling in these plans, which frequently have cheaper premiums, but do not cover basic medical needs —which ultimately costs more out of pocket. Additionally, financial assistance may not be used to purchase these plans.