Obama's Affordable Care Act: What Does It Mean for Women?
As the Voice's inimitable Steven Thrasher reported this morning, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, claiming that the ACA is constitutionally kosher as a tax.
Almost immediately after, Planned Parenthood and other reproductive health group's lauded SCOTUS' ruling, with the New York chapter calling the 5-4 decision a "resounding" and "amazing" victory for women.
But why is Obamacare so great for ladies, you might ask?
As Forbes' Bryce Covert explains, 19 million of America's 50 million uninsured are women -- but some 10.3 million will be eligible for Medicaid when the act takes effect in 2014.
Also, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services info indicates that the act requires insurance companies to cover preventative care and eliminate cost sharing for these services, such as mammograms, screenings for cervical cancer, and prenatal care.
Contraception, which can cost a woman up to 1700 bucks a year, will now also be fully covered by insurers.
Covert notes that Obamacare prohibits gender rating -- AKA charging women more money for insurance simply because they're women.
Right now, 90 percent of plans charge women more even though a mere 3 percent of said plans actually cover maternity services.
Also, under the ACA, however, maternity care will be covered.
Businesses bigger than 50 people will have to give nursing mothers breaks and a private place "to express breast milk," Covert adds.
Now, Newsday notes that New York is one of eight states that had already passed 10 Obamacare protections -- so they would have stuck even if SCOTUS had ruled otherwise.
However, there are two big changes: New Yorkers have to buy insurance if they can afford it, or they will have to pay a tax.
In addition, insurers cannot deny coverage based upon pre-existing conditions.
Planned Parenthood stats suggest that the decision will allow for 1 million previously uninsured New Yorkers to get coverage.
Come the end of the summer, Empire State ladies won't have to shell out for birth control co-pays, either.
Follow Victoria Bekiempis @vicbekiempis.