Affordable Health Care Act Now In Effect

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Pat Warren joined the Eyewitness News team in 1992. Pat came to WJZ...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — New law, new coverage. As of Wednesday, the Affordable Health Care Act requires insurance companies to offer women new disease-prevention services at no cost.

Political reporter Pat Warren has more on what that law means.

As a mother, Nikia Queen knows her children rely on her health.

“It’s very important so that I can be healthy for my kids as they get older and keep up with them,” Queen said.

And staying healthy can be expensive. The new law guarantees that women receive certain services at no cost and that health plans cover comprehensive preventative care and screenings for women with no co-payment.

“I think the estimate is that about a million Maryland women will benefit in some regard from these improvements,” said Dr. Peter Beilensen.

Changes are in the areas of overall wellness, gestational diabetes, domestic violence, contraception, breastfeeding and sexually transmitted diseases.

Beilensen sees added benefits.

“It eliminates a lot of the disparities between women and men in terms of what health care costs they’re responsible for,” Beilensen said.

And under the law, women can no longer be charged more than men for the same coverage. The law also includes new benefits for women and children.

The new benefits kick in when insurance plans are renewed.

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