Marla Ahlgrimm Urges Women to Take Control of Their Health

Marla AhlgrimmSince 2012, the Affordable Care Act has expanded access to preventive care for women. Through this legislation, women have been provided wellness checks and preventive screenings at no out-of-pocket cost, reports women’s health expert and pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm.  Women no longer have to forego possible early detection of problems such as cervical cysts or cervical cancer because of high co-payments.

Preventive screenings include pap smears, mammograms, and contraceptives. All of the FDA-approved methods of contraception are paid for and included in a health plan. Coverage also includes screenings for sexually transmitted diseases. Identifying HPV – the most common sexually transmitted infection – early on not only decreases a woman’s risk of developing cervical cancer but also reduces the cost of medical treatment significantly later on.

Women who previously could not afford to buy birth control now have a guaranteed benefit available with no out-of-pocket cost. According to Marla Ahlgrimm, this benefit of the law saved women nearly $500 million in 2013 alone. Also, adds Ahlgrimm, women now have guaranteed maternity coverage, a benefit that many individual health plans did not offer before the law was passed by Congress and signed by President Obama. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, more than 45 million women have already taken advantage of recommended preventive services.

All women should have access to the most current breast and cervical cancer detection services, believes Marla Ahlgrimm. Early detection tests for breast and cervical cancer save thousands of lives each year—but many more lives could be saved if more women took full advantage of these tests. Marla Ahlgrimm urges readers to share this information with women in their life and take advantage of the free preventive cancer screenings that are so essential to their health.

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