National Partnership for Women & Families

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From the desk of ... Debra L. Ness

What Do Mothers Need? Tools to Make the Best Health Care Choices

May 9, 2014 | Health Care

Mothers are the health care decision makers in our country – they make approximately 80 percent of the health care decisions in their families. Moms take the lead role in choosing health plans, scheduling doctors' appointments, filling prescriptions and making sure their loved ones are getting the care they need. Managing a family’s health and health care can be incredibly challenging, especially because our health care system frequently fails to deliver coordinated, high-value care.

As Mother’s Day approaches, we’re making it easier for women to manage their families’ health by providing tools and information to help them use their health insurance to access affordable, quality care and to make the best possible health care choices.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, millions of people have gained comprehensive health coverage – many for the first time. Understanding what is and is not covered by a plan can be confusing, particularly for people who are newly insured and previously may have had inconsistent access to health care. Thus, helping women decipher their health insurance policies is key to ensuring that they and their families can access the care they need.

There are thousands of health plans in the individual and group markets and the differences between plans can be significant. Important questions that women should have answers to include: what is my health plan’s deductible? Which providers are in my plan’s network? What prescription drugs does my plan cover? What are the cost-sharing requirements for covered health care services?

We’ve released a new resource, “Health Insurance 101,” that shows mothers where to get answers to these and other important questions. Our “Health Insurance 101” guide defines basic insurance terms, provides information on how to access health care services, explains how to figure out what your care will cost, and answers frequently asked questions about insurance.

Please pledge to take action and share our new resource with the mothers in your life. Helping moms improve their families’ health and health care is a great way to honor mothers this Mother’s Day.

You can support the #WhatMothersNeed week of action by telling your friends, family, followers and members of Congress what you think mothers truly need this Mother’s Day. We’re focusing on a new issue each day, including: quality maternity care, pregnancy discrimination, family friendly workplace policies like paid family and medical leave and paid sick days, fair pay, and access to quality, affordable health care. Comment below and/or check out the daily tweet storms at 3 p.m. ET on Twitter – hashtag #WhatMothersNeed – to join the conversation.


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