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ACA has saved $483 million for women contraceptive prescriptions

Protestors in front of U.S. Supreme Court
Protestors in front of U.S. Supreme Court

A new report released today by the Department of Health and Human Services shows that women saved $483.3 million on oral contraception out-of-pocket costs.

The report released by HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell today says that about 76 million Americans in private health insurance plans are newly eligible to receive expanded coverage for one or more recommended preventive health care services, such as a mammogram or flu shot, with cost sharing, because of the Affordable Care Act.

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) most health plans must cover a set of recommended preventive services like screening tests and immunizations at no out-of-pocket cost to consumers. This includes Marketplace private insurance plans.

“Today’s findings are just one more indicator that the Affordable Care Act is delivering impact for millions of people nationwide,” said Secretary Burwell. “Seventy-six million is more than just a number. For millions of Americans, it means no longer having to put off a mammogram for an extra year. Or it means catching a problem early enough that it’s treatable.”

But today’s report comes as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to rule on the constitutionality of an ACA law that requires for-profit corporations to cover birth control for women under employee health insurance plans, while non-profit religious organizations can forego the coverage if they have religious objections.

The case the Supreme Court is set to rule on, comes from a for-profit company, Hobby Lobby, an arts and crafts retailer whose owner objects to having to cover contraceptives because of his own personal religious objections.

If the Supreme Court rules in favor of Hobby Lobby, it will open the door for any private business owner to cancel contraception health coverage for their employees based on religious beliefs, if he or she so chooses.

The Supreme Court’s decision on Hobby Lobby is expect this coming Monday.

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