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    Survey: Many Women Unaware How Health Law Benefits Them


    In terms of preventive care, 60 percent of women did not know that insurers must cover at least one preventive visit a year. Fifty-seven percent of women knew that services like mammograms have to be covered, but only 34 percent of women between 18 and 44 were aware that insurers help pay for breast pump rentals, and 33 percent of women were not aware that insurers now cannot charge higher premiums for women than men.

    Cara James, director of the Office of Minority Health at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which does outreach and data collection on health, said that her office will in June launch a national campaign to reach women and families on what having insurance means and how to use benefits.

    Meanwhile, although four in 10 women of reproductive age reported that they have had an HIV or STI test in the past two years, half those women assumed tests were included in routine gynecological visits. Sixty percent of women between 15 and 44 had recently had a conversation about contraception with a provider, but only 50 percent had talked about sexual history, 34 percent about HIV and 30 percent about STIs.

    This particular finding is troubling because providers have clinical guidelines to discuss sexual health during visits, said Vanessa Cullins, vice president of external medical affairs at the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

    “If you pair that with data that many providers don’t do the test that they’re supposed to do such as annual Chlamydia under the age of 25, or determining whether or not baby boomers have Hepatitis C, means we have a lot of work to do in terms of provider and consumer knowledge,” she said.

    The national survey, conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International for the Kaiser Familiy Foundation, surveyed 3,015 women late in 2013 and has a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points.

    Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a national health policy news service. It is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

    Thu, May 15 2014

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