As a mom, I know how easy it is to put the health of your family before your
own. It’s hard to balance it all – from a quick run, to a busy job, to making
the parent-teacher conferences, all while trying to eat a balanced diet. It can
But as we celebrate Mother’s Day this Sunday, which kicks off National Women’s Health Week, it’s a great time
to remember you can’t take care of your loved ones, unless you take care of
For me that means eating lots of fruits and veggies, drinking water, and
remembering that my emotional well-being is an important part of my health as
well. Every day I try to meditate or pray for five minutes. It helps me let go
of stress and reenergizes me. And most importantly, I always try to laugh.
Healthy habits are important, and when the time comes to see a health
professional, the Affordable Care Act can help. It provides new
benefits, protections and options for health insurance that can help every
Since the passage of the law five years ago, about 16.4 million uninsured
people have gained health coverage, the largest reduction of the uninsured in
four decades. The uninsured rate among women has dropped 7.7 percentage points
since the beginning of open enrollment in October 2013, representing nearly 7.7
million women who now have access to care that they didn’t before.
And for all Marketplace plans and many others, this now includes important preventive services that address women’s
unique health needs at no out-of-pocket costs, such as well-woman visits,
mammograms, maternity and newborn care, breastfeeding support and supplies, and
screenings for domestic violence. These and other preventive services can
substantially improve the health of women and their families, and even save
Americans who already had insurance are benefitting as well, now that new
insurance plans—no matter where you buy them—have some of the strongest consumer
Health insurers can no longer charge women more for coverage simply because
of gender, nor can they deny a woman coverage because she’s fighting breast
cancer or just had a child. The law also ended life-time dollar caps on the
essential health benefits you and your family receive. Women can now have more
peace of mind in knowing that their health insurance will be there when they
need it most – and their family’s savings won’t be wiped out because of an
unexpected illness or injury.
Still, having insurance is only a first step. Knowing how to use that
insurance is just as important. We want to make sure that everyone who has
coverage understands their benefits and costs and how to connect to the services
they need. That’s why we’ve launched the Coverage to Care initiative to help explain
costs, how to find a primary care provider, how to make an appointment and
Why not celebrate this week, and National Women’s Checkup Day on Monday, May 11,
by scheduling a well-woman visit? Or maybe it’s time for a blood pressure
screening. With most coverage, these preventive services are covered at no
out-of-pocket cost to you.
This National Women’s Health Week, remember to take care of yourself, too.
Your family will thank you.
One last thing: Call your mom. Happy Mother’s Day! -Secretary Burwell