Posts Tagged - ‘women’s health’

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Will Health Insurance Plans Be Required To Cover Contraception?

Monday, July 5th, 2010

Many believe that healthcare reform will result in health insurers providing full coverage of contraception. This is because the law requires plans to cover “essential preventative care services” at no cost to the patient. That means no co-payments or co-insurance percentages!

For several reasons, the idea of full coverage for birth control is controversial. Social conservatives are leery of appearing to endorse premarital sexual activity (although married couples use contraception as well). For their part, many employer-based health insurance plans are dreading yet another mandate that increases their costs. However, that cost is far less than what they will otherwise have to pay in maternity cost.

The Health Resources and Services Administration will make the decision.

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Obese Women Less Likely To Get Cervical Cancer Screening

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Image: Choose Hope

Obesity is one of the most pressing public health issues today. It costs our health care system millions of dollars each year. While that needs to be dealt with, the stigma against being overweight may be even more dangerous and costly to the average health insurance plan.

A recent study suggests that obese people are more likely to delay medical treatment for unrelated illnesses (which are easier to treat and riskier), in order to avoid uncomfortable conversations with physicians. It’s a fine line between advice and harassment at times. The example given is with cervical cancer screening: obese women are less likely to receive cervical exams than women of normal weight. As a result, their conditions may worsen–and cervical cancer may not be caught until its advanced stages, when it’s far more expensive to treat.

Why is this the case? The survey’s authors believe that obese women may be more embarrassed, worried about negative reactions from providers, and concerned about equipment and coverings that are too small for them. It’s a reminder that doctors and health insurance providers shouldn’t neglect other health concerns while fighting obesity.

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