LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Health Care Act makes preventive screenings possible

Saturday, October 12, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — October marks National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and thanks to the newly implemented Obamacare, young women like me have access to preventive care and health exams that can help identify abnormalities and potential cancer early, when they are most treatable.

These things can be expensive, and now, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, I don’t have to delay checkups and preventive care because of the cost.

Twenty-seven million currently insured women have already benefited from access to fully covered women’s preventive services, including breast exams and mammograms.

When the law goes into full effect, 47 million women will be insured. Additionally, Americans under the age of 26 can now stay on their parents’ health plan, thanks to "Obamacare."

The law also means that health insurance plans will no longer be able to deny anyone coverage based on pre-existing conditions, such as breast cancer. This will help women who have overcome breast cancer continue medical care for greater health in the future, without fear of losing insurance coverage or bankrupting them.

Every woman deserves access to lifesaving cancer screenings from trusted health care providers, and thanks to Obamacare, they’ll do so without fear of looming debt. That’s why I’m standing with Planned Parenthood for National Breast Cancer Awareness month to say: Obamacare works. It works for young women like me, and we’re not going to let coverage be taken away.

Melissa Needles is a senior at MU.

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Michael Williams October 12, 2013 | 9:29 a.m.

Just keep in mind that this is not free to you (or, perhaps, your parents).

If you have your own policy, you STILL have to pay your portion of the premiums.

And, you STILL have to pay your portion of the deductible co-pays, and coinsurance, the amount of which depends upon the plan you choose. When you go to the doctor, you'll still be asked to pay money up to the maximum out-of-pocket amount.

Here's a handy-dandy guide, the best one I've seen so far:

Here's an excerpt: "Bronze plans will pay on average 60% of covered costs, while the enrollee pays 40% up to a certain maximum per year, which for 2014 is $6,350 per individual and $12,700 per family (or even less for lower incomes — see below). Silver plans have a 70/30 split; Gold 80/20; and Platinum 90/10. The Bronze plan will have the lowest premium and highest cost sharing; vice-versa for a Platinum plan."

So, roughly speaking, if you are on a bronze plan, go to the doctor, and incur a cost of $100, you'll need to cough up 40 bucks.

It isn't free to you or anyone else.

PS: And, of course, some physicians/hospitals to which you may have gone in the past may no longer be within the network of the plan you choose. Be sure and check, first. Otherwise, you may find yourself out of the network with your fav physician and liable for more costs.

PSS: No one has yet tackled the question: "What happens when an Obamacare enrollee fails to pay his/her portion of the bill?" It will be interesting to see if medical professionals will demand your portion of the payment in advance. I fear our government is creating a very, very tough situation for doctors having a profound need to make a living and pay off debt for years of training....versus "Do no harm" by refusing to take on new patients who probably can not or will not pay their "fair share". Would you work for someone who could not or would not give you a salary check each month?

Me neither....

(Report Comment)
Joanne Schrader October 14, 2013 | 12:21 a.m.

It is odd that the writer stands with Planned Parenthood for National Breast Cancer Awareness month. Foremost, despite what Mr. Obama claims Planned Parenthood does not do nor has ever done mammograms. They only perform the most basic breast exam which every woman can do on herself and costs nothing.

It is a wonder they need all that grant money from the Susan Komen Foundation and raised such a fuss when the Komen could have put that money to better use. Furthermore, Planned Parenthood denies the link between abortion and breast cancer; even though, a clear majority of scientific studies point to an increased risk.

Planned Parenthood is gaining a lot more taxpayer funding from Obamacare. They already get over half a billion of our tax dollars while their annual abortion number continue to rise to over 334,000 and yet at the same time they are doing fewer preventative screenings. (See their own annual reports for proof.)

I'm all for preventative screenings except when the biggest player in the abortion industry is involved.

(Report Comment)

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