Category Archives: Women’s Health

Health law’s free contraceptive coverage saved US women $483 million in 2013

Share

Twenty-dollar bill in a pill bottleThe Affordable Care Act provision that requires insurers to cover contraceptives with zero co-pay saved US women $483 million last year — $269 on average, according to a new report from the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics.

Overall, 24 million more prescriptions for oral contraceptives were filled in 2013, the first full year the health law’s contraceptive provision was in force, compared to 2012.

“The share of women with no out-of-pocket cost for these forms of birth control increased to 56% from 14% one year ago,” the report says.

To learn more read: 

IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. Medicine use and the shifting costs of healthcare: A review of the use of medicines in the United States in 2013. April 2014. LINK:

Share

Women’s Health – Week 31: Infertility

Share

tacuin womenFrom the Office of Research on Women’s Health

Infertility is the term health care providers use for women and men who are unable to get pregnant after at least 1 year of trying. Women who are able to get pregnant but who cannot carry a pregnancy to term (birth) may also be considered infertile.

Infertility is a complex problem–it does not have a single cause because getting pregnant is a multi-step chain of events.  Continue reading

Share

Judge throws out murder charge in Mississippi fetal harm case

Share

Blue Pregnant BellyThe ruling means that the woman whose drug use had her facing a possible life term can at most be charged with manslaughter in the death of her stillborn daughter.

By Nina Martin
ProPublica

A Mississippi judge has thrown out murder charges against a young woman in the 2006 death of her stillborn child, a significant setback for prosecutors in a controversial case that has been closely followed both by women’s rights groups and those interested in establishing rights for the unborn.

Rennie Gibbs, who was 16 when she gave birth to her stillborn daughter Samiya, had been indicted for “depraved heart murder” after traces of a cocaine byproduct were found in the baby’s blood.

The charge — defined under Mississippi law as an act “eminently dangerous to others…regardless of human life” — carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

But Lowndes County Circuit Court Judge Jim Kitchens, in a two-page ruling held that under Mississippi law Gibbs could not be charged with murder.  Continue reading

Share

Women’s Health — Week 30: Urinary Incontinence

Share

tacuin womenFrom the Office of Research on Women’s Health

Urinary incontinence, or loss of bladder control, can range from mild leaking to uncontrollable wetting.

For some women, the risk of public embarrassment prevents them from enjoying many activities with their family and friends.

Urine loss can also occur during sexual activity and cause tremendous emotional distress. Under a health care provider’s care, incontinence can be treated and often cured.  Continue reading

Share

For women, especially, insurance equals savings

Share
youngwoman

Free preventive care and birth control coverage add up to big savings for women.

By Britt Olson
Public Health – Seattle & King County

Prior to the Affordable Care Act, pregnancy could be treated as a preexisting condition and insurance could be denied. Insurance providers routinely “gender rated” plans, which resulted in higher-priced premiums for female customers. In a 2008 study, the National Women’s Law Center found that just 12 percent of some 3,500 insurance plans provided comprehensive maternity coverage. Continue reading

Share

Lawsuit against US Bishops Conference could be thwarted on procedural grounds

Share

US catholic bishops-Logoby Nina Martin
ProPublica, March 20, 2014

The story of Tamesha Means and her miscarriage three years ago, if it happened the way her lawyers claim it did, is truly awful: Means was 18 weeks pregnant when her water broke and she was rushed to a hospital in Muskegon, Mich. The fetus wasn’t viable, and the pregnancy — Means’ third — was doomed.

But doctors at the hospital, part of the Catholic healthcare network known as Mercy Health Partners, didn’t tell her that, Means’ lawyers say.

Instead of the normal course of treatment — inducing labor and terminating the pregnancy to stave off potentially risky complications — Means was allegedly kept in the dark about her condition, given painkillers, and sent home.  Continue reading

Share

Justices to weigh contraceptive mandate against religious freedom claims

Share

U.S. Supreme CourtBy Stuart Taylor Jr.
KHN
MAR 20, 2014

This story was produced in collaboration with 

The Affordable Care Act, which the Supreme Court partially upheld in 2012 when it issued one of the most important decisions in decades, has spawned more litigation — topped by two consolidated cases that could become the justices’ biggest ruling on religious liberty in years.

The oral arguments regarding the law’s contraception coverage mandate, slated for March 25, will be a rematch between two lawyers who squared off in the first health law challenge — Obama administration Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. and former Bush administration Solicitor General Paul Clement.

The key question is whether privately owned businesses can be hit with crippling fines of $100 a day per worker if their devoutly Christian owners refuse on religious grounds to include in their health plans four contraceptive methods that they equate with abortion. Continue reading

Share

Women’s health — Week 29: Fecal incontinence

Share

tacuin womenFrom the Office of Research on Women’s Health

Fecal incontinence, or loss of bowel control, can be devastating. People may feel the urge to have a bowel movement and not be able to hold it until they get to a toilet or stool may leak from the rectum unexpectedly, sometimes while passing gas. Continue reading

Share

Health law provides no guarantees of access to midwives, birthing centers

Share

PregnancyBy Michelle Andrews
KHN

Insurance coverage for maternity care is required in most individual and small group plans under the federal health law, extendingsuch coverage to plans where it used to be rare.

But for women who are interested in services provided by midwives and birthing centers, there are no coverage guarantees, despite the law’s provisions that prohibit insurers from discriminating against licensed medical providers.

Most women give birth in hospitals and are attended by obstetricians, but a growing number choose to deliver their babies at birth centers.

The centers, typically staffed by midwives, offer women who are at low risk for complications an alternative to traditional hospital labor and delivery, eschewing common medical interventions such as drugs to induce labor and electronic fetal monitors, among other things. Continue reading

Share

Women’s health — Week 27: HIV/AIDS

Share

tacuin womenFrom the Office of Research on Women’s Health

The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the virus that causes AIDS.

HIV attacks the immune system by destroying CD4 positive (CD4+) T cells, a type of white blood cell that helps fight infections.

If you are HIV infected, you are at risk for infections and other conditions because the HIV virus destroys your T cells.  Continue reading

Share

Women’s Health — Week 26: Heart Disease

Share

tacuin womenFrom the Office of Research on Women’s Health

Heart disease is the leading cause of death among American women. The good news is that you can greatly reduce your chances of developing heart disease.

Making healthy changes in daily habits, learning about your personal risk factors, and taking needed medication as prescribed are all important keys to heart health.  Continue reading

Share

Women’s Health — Week 25: Hearing Loss

Share

tacuin womenFrom the Office of Research on Women’s Health

Hearing loss affects individuals, their families, and their communities.

Approximately 36 million American adults report some degree of hearing loss.

In addition, approximately two to three out of 1,000 babies born in the United States each year have a detectable hearing loss, which can affect their speech, language, social, and cognitive development.

There are two main types of hearing loss. One happens when your inner ear or auditory nerve is damaged. This type is permanent.

Continue reading

Share