Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Health Care Reform Part II

According to the National Women's Law Center whether women are insured or uninsured, they have many out-of-pocket costs that they are more likely to avoid health care or struggle paying for health care. Some startling statistics regarding women and health care:

1. 33% of insured women and 68% of uninsured women do not get the care they need because they cannot afford it

2. 23% of insured men and 49% of uninsured men avoid health care because of cost

3. 16% of women are considered underinsured, while only 9% of men are considered underinsured

4. 38% of women struggle with medical bills compared with 29% of men

5. Women have less access to employer-sponsored insurance because they are more likely than men to work part-time

6. Women's access to insurance is less stable because they are more than twice as likely as men to get employer-sponsored insurance through their spouse

7. Women are more likely than men to take prescription drugs

8. 52% of women did not fill a prescription, did not see a specialist when needed, skipped a recommended medical test or treatment, or had a medical problem but did not visit a doctor compared to 39% of men

9. 45% of women had medical debt or reported problems with medical bills compared to 36% of men

10. 45% delayed or did not receive a cancer screening or dental care because of costs compared to 36% of men
Women will also be able to receive preventative medical services like immunizations and mammograms that will be covered in full by private health insurance companies and Medicare. Medicaid will expand services to new mothers and pregnant women, they will offer more family planning services, postpartum support and education and home visiting programs. Employers will be required to give nursing mothers breaks and space to pump breast milk.
Children with pre-existing conditions will now be able to receive health care coverage which is a huge victory since approximately 9 million children are uninsured. Health insurance companies will now allow young adults to remain on their parent's health plan up to age 26.

Older Americans will also receive additional help with prescription drug costs. Small business owners, many who are women will be able to provide health insurance to their employees and will be able to receive business tax credits. Starting in 2010 small business owners can get a 35% tax credit if they have 10 or less employee that earn less than $25,000 a year.

Beginning January 1, 2011, health insurance companies are required to waive co-payments and deductibles on preventive care which includes regular mammograms. Prescription drug companies will be required to provide a 50% discount on brand-name drugs bought in the coverage gap. The federal subsidy for Part D premiums will be reduced for higher-income beneficiaries. Cost sharing for preventive-care services will be eliminated.

A new temporary health insurance program will pay health insurance premiums and is available for retirees ages 55 through 64 who were laid off during the recession. In addition, health insurance companies will no longer be able to impose individual spending limits and terminate patients who have high medical costs.

No comments: