Women’s Health History Month Press Conference Highlights Historic Access to Health Coverage and New Consumer Protections for Women.

LANSING, MI – Today, Get Covered America and Know Your Care held a press conference with capital area female leaders and consumers to highlight the historic improvements to women’s health care made possible by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As part of Women’s History Month, Ingham County Women’s Commission (ICWC) members Rebecca Bahar-Cook and Pamela Kreiner, and new Marketplace enrollees Andreea Prundeanu and Elizabeth Battiste spoke about the unprecedented access to quality health care coverage for women.

With just three weeks left in the Health Insurance Marketplace open enrollment period, Get Covered America and Know Your Care are conducting a nationwide March push to educate consumers about their new health coverage options and mobilize them to enroll.

“Our staff and volunteers are on the ground in communities across Michigan, to arm consumers with the facts so that they can make the best health care decisions for themselves and their families,” said Erin Knott, Michigan state director of Enroll America. “With just three weeks to go until the open enrollment period closes, it’s critical that women, particularly, are aware of the greater consumer protections and financial assistance available to them through the new coverage options.”

In the past, women often experienced gender discrimination when shopping for health coverage on the individual market. Women could be denied coverage or charged more than men simply because they were pregnant. Until the new consumer protections for women under the health reform, simply being female could be considered a pre-existing condition. Under the old system, women could even lose coverage if their child became sick.

“The new coverage options and new consumer protections provide historic access to quality, affordable health care for women,” said Rebecca Bahar-Cook, Ingham County Commissioner and ICWC member “Now, because of the Affordable Care Act, all plans must cover women’s health essentials like maternity care, newborn care, preventive health screenings, free contraceptives, prescriptions and more.”

“Finally, consumers are able to find coverage for the care they need and want regardless of gender or employment status,” said Pamela Kreiner, Chair of the ICWC. “The Affordable Care Act gives women greater control over their own health care.”

Michigan State University doctoral candidate Andreea Prundeanu is one such woman who now has greater control over her health care. After turning 26 years old, Andreea only had sporadic coverage that was contingent upon receiving a teaching appointment. Until the Marketplace opened on October 1, Andreea was unable to find a quality health insurance plan that fit her budget and covered essential women’s health care needs. In December, Andreea Prundeanu shopped on the Marketplace and enrolled in a silver Blue Cross plan. The financial assistance for which Andreea qualified reduced her monthly premium to just $5.23.

“Before the Marketplace, I shopped in vain for a private health insurance plan that I could afford and that offered the coverage I needed and wanted as a woman,” said Andreea Prundeanu, a recent Marketplace enrollee. “Thanks to the new health coverage options, I now have comprehensive coverage at a very affordable rate.”

Knott encourages Michiganders to avoid waiting until the last minute to get help enrolling. “While Healthcare.gov is the web portal for Michigan’s Health Insurance Marketplace, it is not the only way to apply and enroll. There are in-person enrollment assisters in communities across Michigan available by appointment or walk-in. We also encourage consumers who could not make this enrollment event to call the Marketplace hotline, which is staffed twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.” A list of in-person enrollment assisters can be found at getcoveredamerica.org/locator. Consumers wishing to reach the Marketplace hotline for enrollment assistance should call 1-800-318-2596.

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Get Covered America is a national campaign of Enroll America that is focused on educating consumers about the benefits of health insurance coverage and the new health care options that are available under the Affordable Care Act. Our grassroots team is powered by passionate staff and volunteers with one motivating goal: to give Americans the information they need to choose an affordable health insurance plan that’s right for them and their families.

Know Your Care is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to educating the American people about the Affordable Care Act’s life-saving consumer and patient protections that are already benefitting millions of Americans and will benefit millions more in the coming years as additional provisions are implemented.


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