This post was written by Karen Davenport, Director of Health Policy at the National Women’s Law Center.
If you are as technologically illiterate as I am, this headline might cause you to scratch your head or rub your eyes — what could it possibly mean? But even people who are conversant in Twitter-ese might not know that well-woman visits are an integral part of health coverage offered in the health insurance marketplace. In fact, women who hold health insurance through the marketplace or through most employers are covered for all the well-woman visits they need to receive all of the recommended preventive services appropriate to their age, health history and other health risk factors. And they don’t even have to pay a co-payment!
We have a new resource you should share far and wide to help women prepare for their well-women visits: a brochure with all the information they’ll need.
Why is this important? Well, women are more likely to experience fragmented health care and are more likely to have one or more chronic illnesses than men — and well-women visits are the perfect way to identify potential health problems before they become a serious disease, and to establish a trusting relationship with their primary care professional to map out the preventive services they need and understand the health risks they face, so women can have greater control over their health.
And don’t be fooled — this benefit doesn’t begin and end with an annual gynecological exam. Well-woman care extends to many more preventive services, including mammograms, colonoscopies, reproductive life planning, and even pre-natal care. Plus education and counseling from a health care professional on the signs and symptoms of conditions common to women, such as cardiovascular disease, and the physical and emotional changes that accompany certain life transitions, such as puberty, pregnancy, or menopause. Women can prepare for well-women visits by checking out this resource.
As you can see, there’s a lot that goes in to well-woman care. Which is why it is so great that well-woman visits are covered without co-payments or deductibles, and that women can have multiple visits to make sure they get the preventive care they need. Isn’t this a great deal? That’s why we need to get the word out that all women should #getcovered and #beawellwoman. (Translation: Sign Up for Health Insurance and Get Your Well-Woman Visits!)