HCFA HelpLine Focuses on Women’s Health

 Therese Fitzgerald, director of the Women's Health Policy & Advocacy Program; Christie Hager, regional director for Region I of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Paula Johnson, chief of the BWH Division of Women’s Health and executive director of the Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology; Kate Bicego, consumer education and enrollment manager for Health Care for All; Edith Kenneally, of BWH Patient Financial Counseling Services; and Nyjah Wyche-Alexis, of YWCA Boston.

August 1st was a historic day for the health and well-being of women and their families. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act millions of women across Massachusetts and the country now have access to eight preventative health services without cost sharing. This means that women receiving any of these services will no longer have to delay care due to unaffordable co-pays, deductibles, or coinsurance.

These new preventive care services for women are part of a general expansion of preventive care for children and adults under the ACA; see more details on this fact sheet.

One of the HCFA HelpLine’s many roles is to educate consumers about how the Affordable Care Act impacts the lives of themselves and their families. As each provision of the ACA goes into effect, we receive calls from on-the-ball consumers looking for health care coverage answers.

But we know that answering HelpLine calls is not the only space for educating folks about the ACA. We were honored and grateful to recently take part in an educational session at Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Women’s Health Policy & Advocacy Program. (download comprehensive session materials (pdf) on women’s health and the ACA).

Paula Johnson, MD, MPH, chief of the BWH Division of Women’s Health and executive director of the Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology, and the BWH Women’s Health Policy & Advocacy Program hosted the discussion (download her presentation (pdf).  Christie Hager, JD, MPH, regional director for Region I of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, spoke about the strong consumer protections unveiled by the ACA (presentation (pdf)). Our HelpLine Manager, Kate Bicego, gave an overview of Massachusetts health care coverage post ACA implementation and used examples of HelpLine callers to help participants identify patients that will benefit from the law (presentation (pdf)).

This event was made possible by support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health Region 1 (New England) Office. We thank HHS, Dr. Paula Johnson, and the BWH Women’s Health Policy & Advocacy Program team for this opportunity to collaborate and educate ACA stakeholders.

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