More Obamacare Benefits for Women Coming in 2014

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, won't do anything to re-open the 56 women's health clinics that have shut down in Texas over the past few years.  And it won't end the political battles over abortion. But the law does contain additional benefits for women. The biggest one is that starting next year, insurance companies can't charge women higher premiums than men.

Mary Ann Perez is a state representative from east Harris County and an insurance agent. She spoke during a forum about the law's impact on women at Central Care, a clinic in Houston's Third Ward.

"It is more expensive for women to get medical insurance than it is men. Simply because we have uteruses. And I keep thinking, 'Are you kidding me?' But it really is true. So, thank goodness for that Affordable Care Act."

Among Texas women between the ages of 19 and 64, 30 percent are uninsured.

Angelique Bartholomew of Missouri City is one of them.  

"I have not had insurance for about four to five years, myself."

Her husband has insurance through his job, but Bartholomew runs her own consulting business. At the event, she learned that insurance will now have to offer preventive services for women like PAP smears and mammograms for free, with no co-pays. More importantly, she learned that in a few weeks she can start shopping online for a plan that could cover her and their five children in 2014. Depending on income, Bartholomew could be eligible for a subsidy to help pay for the policy.

"The premium tax credit being one of the options for me is huge. Having the federal government allot a certain amount of money in advance to help with the premium, that makes a lot of sense to me."

The prices for those online plans should be revealed in Texas in early September, and you can sign up for a plan starting October 1.

But you can find out more now, by visiting healthcare.gov.

 

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