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Celebrating Women and the Affordable Care Act

Date: 
08/01/2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact: Lynda DeLaforgue, Co-Director Citizen Action/IL: (312) 427-2114 x202

John Gaudette, Organizing Director Citizen Action/IL: (312) 427-2114 x208

Celebrating Women and the Affordable Care Act

Citizen Action/ Illinois and partners highlight continuing benefits of ACA for all Illinois women

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Chicago — Citizen Action/Illinois, Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition, Chicago Women’s Health Center, and the Health and Medicine Policy Research Group held a press conference at 10:30 AM on August 1st at the Health and Medicine Policy Research Group’s office to celebrate new women’s preventive services included in the Affordable Care Act. As of August 1st, all new health plans must cover a range of women’s preventive services such as yearly check-ups, lactation consultation and supplies, screening and counseling for domestic and interpersonal violence, contraception and more.

These benefits are coming on top of a multitude of other pro-women provisions in the AffordableCare Act that came into effect over the last two years: Mammograms without cost-sharing, cervical cancer screenings without cost-sharing, prenatal care without cost-sharing, and access to any OB-GYN in one’s network without a referral, among a whole host of positive measures.

Janine Lewis, executive director for the Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition, believes that health reform is a major victory for women across the state, and no-cost preventive care is only the beginning. “Women across Illinois can celebrate today because these provisions provide much needed access to preventive services that we rely upon. Unfortunately, many women have faced significant cost barriers that have prevented them from taking these steps to stay healthy. By eliminating those barriers, we are opening the doors for millions of women to take control of their health.”

Moreover, according to the National Women’s Law Center, before the Affordable Care Act over 90% of the best-selling insurance plans charged women more for health insurance than men—costing women $1 billion per year. Many insurers also denied coverage altogether due to pre-existing conditions, such as having been pregnant. In 2014, both of these injustices will come to an end as well.

“The Affordable Care Act is—without a doubt—a powerful step forward for women in Illinois,” said Lynda DeLaforgue, co-director of Citizen Action/ Illinois. “Today’s new benefits are only a continuation of a series of pro-women healthcare benefits that have been introduced since March 2010 and will continue to be implemented through 2014.”

Citizen Action/Illinois, its partners, and community leaders used the important date of August 1st as a time to share their healthcare stories, highlighting how the Affordable Care Act has benefited—and will continue to benefit—all Illinois women.

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