The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides enrollees no-cost access to preventive services and has improved vaccination rates, screening rates for certain chronic conditions and cancers, and increased access to birth control and other contraceptives.
A federal lawsuit pending in the Northern District of Texas seeks to overturn the Affordable Care Act’s preventive services coverage requirement, and could reduce access to life-saving care for the estimated 167.5 million people covered under ACA-compliant health plans.
In 2019, 62 percent of people in America said it was “very important” that the ACA’s preventive service requirement stay in place.
Since the ACA preventive services provision took effect in 2010, research has found increases in blood pressure screenings, cholesterol screenings, colorectal cancer screenings, HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccines, and flu vaccines.
The ACA has had a particularly large effect on women’s access to contraceptive care.
Women saved $255 on oral contraception and $248 on intrauterine devices (IUDs) on average annually between 2010 and 2013.
Unintended pregnancy declined after the implementation of the ACA’s contraceptive coverage requirement.
Access to preventive services like cancer screenings, vaccinations, and contraception plays a key role in advancing public health. If the ACA's preventive services coverage requirement is overturned, millions could lose access to no-cost preventive healthcare.
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The nonprofit Urban Institute is dedicated to elevating the debate on social and economic policy. For nearly five decades, Urban scholars have conducted research and offered evidence-based solutions that improve lives and strengthen communities across a rapidly urbanizing world. Their objective research helps expand opportunities for all, reduce hardship among the most vulnerable, and strengthen the effectiveness of the public sector. Visit the Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center for more information specific to its staff and its recent research.
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Without access to comprehensive health coverage, hundred of thousands of women of reproductive age will likely lose access to contraception and reproductive health services.