On Wednesday, August 1st a crucial part of the Affordable Care Act (what is called “Obamacare”), makes well-women visits and contraceptives available without co-payments. There are also other health insurance benefits for women. This video talks about some of them, and tells you where you can find more information.
Archive for the ‘women and insurance’ Category
Last Friday, June 24th, a federal judge ruled that the state of Indiana may not block state and federal public funding of Planned Parenthood only because the medical organization provides abortions. The ruling also granted Planned Parenthood an injunction on the state’s attempt at defunding.
The decision, made by U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt, in Indianapolis, agreed with the federal viewpoint that individual states may not disqualify Medicaid providers just because they also happen to be abortion providers, nor may the states do anything to restrict the freedom of Medicaid patients to select their own health care providers.
Bryan Corbin, the spokesperson for the Indiana attorney general’s office, said that the state will probably appeal this ruling.
The law, which went into effect last month, made Indiana the first state in the country to refuse to disburse Medicaid funds meant to be used for breast exams and Pap smears to Planned Parenthood. The organization, which provides health care to about 9.300 Indiana clients who receive state-federal health insurance for low-income and disabled Medicaid recipients, lost about $1.4 million because of that legislation.
The state’s argument was that federal law disallows Medicaid-covered abortions in most circumstances, and that such procedures are indirectly funded because financial statements from Planned Parenthood show that Medicaid funds are comingled with revenue from other sources. The state believes that this means the state-federal health insurance plan for low-income and disabled people might therefore be subsidizing some of the overhead costs for space where abortions are performed.
Pratt’s ruling said that Planned Parenthood would feel “dire financial effects” because of the law, and that the defunding meant basic health care would be denied to Medicaid patients who use the facility.
Planned Parenthood of Indiana has actually been running without Medicaid funding since Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels signed the law into force on May 10th, but wasn’t forced to stop seeing Medicaid patients until last week, when the donations from private sources, used to cover those patients’ bills, ran out.
Nationally, less than 3% of the medical services Planned Parenthood provides are abortions, or abortion-related.
Maybe it’s a sign of troubling times in general, or maybe it’s a direct response to the way health insurance costs have risen over the past several years, but apparently the number of American adults who are praying about their health issues rose 36 percent from 199 to 2007.
This information comes from a study recently published by the American Psychological Association. The researchers involved looked at data from the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions’ National Health Interview surveys for the years 1999, 2002, and 2007, and focused mainly on comparing the results of the latter two surveys which included responses from 30,080 adults from 44,540 households in 2002 and 23,393 adults from 40,377 households in 2007.
According to the study’s lead author, Amy Wachholtz, PhD, from the University of Massachusetts medical School, “The United States did have an increase in worship attendance across multiple religious faiths immediately after the 9/11 attack, but that has not stayed elevated. However, people continued to use informal and private spiritual practices such as prayer. There is also a greater public awareness of Buddhist-based mindfulness practices that can include prayerful meditation, which individuals may also be using to address a variety of health concerns.”
Increased prayer was noted in people whose health dramatically declined as well as those whose health significantly improved, suggesting that it was a method of coping with the changing circumstances of their health, according to the study.
A greater amount of prayer was noted in most demographic groups, though those with higher incomes were less likely to pray about their health than those with lower incomes. The most likely people to pray about health conditions were the well-educated, women, and African-Americans.
However, while prayer was used by people with good incomes and decent medical insurance, Wachholtz pointed out that, “People are not exchanging health insurance for prayer.”
Sometimes we need a little levity, even when we’re talking about insurance. Or maybe that should read especially when we’re talking about it.
As you know, last week we posted a clip of Congressional Democrats defending Planned Parenthood as a vital source of women’s health care for women who don’t have health insurance.
This week, we’re sharing a clip from THE LAST WORD, which focuses on Stephen Colbert’s riff against Senator Kyl’s disinformation about the same organization.
Even though all Americans are living longer, women still tend to outlive their husbands, or not marry at all, which means they need to be active in their retirement planning before finances in their golden years become an issue.
To help with that, the MetLife Mature Market Institute has partnered with WISER (Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement) to offer a comprehensive free publication called What Today’s Woman Needs to Know and Do: the New Retirement Journey. It’s available for download from the Mature Market Institute.
The publication speaks to the different challenges that women face as they mature and offers assistance with financial planning issues, with such tools as a Retirement Savings and Planning Checklist for every decade of a woman’s life, with guidelines for women from age 20 through their 70s. There’s also a glossary to define common financial terms, as well as other resources.
According to data from a MetLife Mature Market Institute study, financial planning is a major issue for the modern woman, especially since women still earn less than men, with 62% of career women expressing concern that they may never have enough money to retire.
Explains Sandra Timmermann, Ed.D., the director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute, “While women today have more economic opportunity than ever before, they also have a great deal more financial responsibility. Compared to previous generations of women who likely had a pension [theirs or their husband’s) and a deed to their mortgage-free home, many of today’s women are less prepared. They may now have a 401(k), 403(b) and/or IRA savings, a Social Security benefit and Medicare benefits, but they may not have pensions and private health care coverage. Many are likely to have a mortgage or other debt. New approaches are, therefore, required.”
No matter how old you are, this publication is worth checking out.