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1-in-5 U.S. women of reproductive age uninsured

Sept. 24, 2013 at 7:00 AM

NEW YORK, Sept. 24 (UPI) -- Nearly 13 million U.S. women ages 15-44, or 1-in-5 women of reproductive age, were uninsured in 2012, an analysis by a non-profit group says.

The analysis by the Guttmacher Institute -- using U.S. Census Bureau data -- found nearly 4-of-10 U.S. reproductive-age women living below the poverty line lacked insurance coverage.

These statistics not only underscored the urgent and ongoing need for safety-net programs such as the Title X national family planning program, they also demonstrate the significant potential gains to be made as the Affordable Care Act's expansion of public and private insurance coverage gets under way Jan. 1, the Guttmacher Institute said.

All plans sold on the insurance exchanges will meet certain coverage standards, including coverage of a host of sexual and reproductive health-related services without out-of-pocket costs.

These services include contraceptive counseling and all contraceptive methods prescribed for women, coverage for an annual well-woman preventive care visit, services for pregnant women and nursing mothers, and counseling and screening services for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, cervical cancer and domestic violence.

Oct. 1 marks the rollout of the new marketplace where uninsured U.S. adults, many of whom will qualify for federal subsidies, can purchase insurance plans.

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