Our new president may not be in the Oval Office yet, but changes are happening—and fast.
ICYMI, the Senate and the House are already taking steps toward repealing Obamacare (aka the Affordable Care Act). We knew that the women's health sitch might change with Donald Trump taking over the presidency and Republicans in control of the Senate and House (and sure enough, we're already headed toward the end of free birth control). But, heads up: Your monthly packs of BC aren't the only preventative health care costs that might skyrocket if they nix the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Not only might the repeal of the ACA leave 20 million people uninsured, but the cost of routine preventative care like mammograms, colonoscopies, and the shingles vaccine might also see huge price hikes, according to a new report by Amino, a consumer digital health care company. They dug deep into the Amino database (which covers nearly every doctor in America) and looked at the costs of five different preventative health procedures: mammograms, colonoscopies, shingles vaccines, intrauterine devices (IUDs), and tubal ligation (aka "getting your tubes tied") both with the ACA in place and what's expected post-repeal.
The results? A simple mammogram may end up costing you $267 and the shingles vaccine could cost $366, while a routine colonoscopy could be upwards of $1,600. A tubal ligation clocks in at about $4,000. Thinking about getting a Mirena IUD? If you wait until post-ACA repeal, it could cost you more than $1,100. While these prices vary state by state (check out the infographic on mammograms, for example, below), these are the median expected prices, according to Amino's research.
FYI, the ACA currently requires insurance companies to pay for 100 percent of the cost for most routine preventative services like vaccines, cancer screenings, and birth control. The ACA goes away, and so does that coverage.
Keep in mind that these services are preventative and recommended by heath care professionals to do on the reg—so you shouldn't exactly skip out on them. The American Cancer Society (ACS) even decreased the number of mammograms recommended, but still set the bar with yearly checks from age 45 to 54 and then every two years. Colonoscopies are less frequent—the ACS recommends every few months to every 10 years depending on your risk. But that's a good thing, considering they're pretty freaking expensive. As for tubal ligation? Thank goodness that's a one-and-done procedure, because paying 4K more than once would be a real stretch.
"The ACA's policies for health screenings and preventative services are based off established research that shows preventative care improves lives and saves money," says Dan Vivero, CEO of Amino. "Americans should take advantage of these free services in the coming months, as the cost might shift to them if insurance companies are no longer required to cover in full."
The good news: For now, the ACA should still cover all this preventative care, so it's not too late to book all the appointments you need now. Post-haste, ladies.