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There are definite winners and losers after the Supreme Court's decision last week to uphold the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Washington Post reports. But love the ACA or hate it, one thing is clear: Women stand to gain the most benefits when the law goes into full effect in 2014, Slate reports.
According to Slate and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website, insurance companies are now required to cover such services as pap smears, mammograms and children's immunizations without a co-pay. Starting Aug. 1, the no-co-pay rule will also apply to breastfeeding support services, in addition to annual well-woman visits, HPV testing, domestic violence screenings, contraception and diabetes screenings for both men and women.
In early June, our friends over at The Stir took a look at the Five Ways Moms Will Be Affected by The Health Care Law. The article mentioned that children cannot be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition; maternity and newborn care becomes mandatory in 2014; and no co-pays will be required for prenatal screenings, breastfeeding supplies and contraception.
When the ACA first went into effect, we reported on the new health care perks for pregnant women, new moms and babies. Our writer mentioned state- and federally funded coverage for the use of birth centers, certified nurse-midwives and prenatal and postpartum nurse home-visit programs. Unfortunately, these benefits are still up in the air because they are part of the Medicaid provision struck down by the Supreme Court's decision last week.
And don't forget that the provision still stands requiring companies with more than 50 employees to allow a nursing woman "reasonable time" to express breast milk during work hours until her child is 1 year old.