Women's health groups launch 'Care Women Deserve' program to tout preventive health, insurance benefits

Several women's health organizations hope to increase awareness of free or low-cost preventive services. (Getty/monkeybusinessimages)

A number of preventive health services for woman are included for free in their health insurance plans, so a group of women's health organizations has joined forces to get the word out. 

The seven organizations launched Care Women Deserve this week to better inform female patients about the health services that are included at no cost in their insurance plans, and to encourage women to take advantage of them. 

The project also seeks to be a set of guidelines for what services women need the most at little-to-no cost and includes common care and tests like well-woman visits, pap smears, contraception, HIV screening, mammograms and breastfeeding support. 

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"Under the Affordable Care Act, women gained access to a host of important preventive health services without having to pay out of pocket," March of Dimes President Stacey D. Stewart said in the announcement. "We want all women to understand these benefits, so they can be as healthy as possible at every stage of life." 

In addition to March of Dimes, the initiative includes the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Black Women's Health Imperative, National Women's Law Center, Power to Decide, UnidosUS and the United State of Women. 

Care Women Deserve offers resources for free use on its website.

The program's launch comes amid concern about the future of key elements of the ACA—including its essential health benefits requirements—and the potential for a new approach from the Department of Health and Human Services under the Trump administration. 

The administration, for example, has sought out faith-based organizations to learn more about how they can engage with them on women's health issues and has offered employers more leeway in enforcing the law's contraceptive mandate.

That rule was later blocked by a federal judge

"Without access to recommended preventive care, including contraceptive care, women can experience health-related barriers that can negatively impact their lives, as well as the lives of their family," said Ginny Ehrlich, CEO of Power to Decide, a campaign to prevent unwanted pregnancy.

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