Texas Council on Family Violence Praises the Federal Health Care Law for Providing Better Health Care for Women and Children in Texas

Survivor of Domestic Violence Speaks Out about the Benefits of the New Law


Austin, Texas — The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) today joined HHS and the Office of Women’s Health in marking the second anniversary of the landmark health care law for providing better health care for Texas families. Millions of women have expanded access to basic health care, such as mammograms and pap smears and they can no longer be dropped from their health insurance when they need it most.

“Texas has one of the highest rates of uninsured people,” said Gloria A. Terry, President of the Texas Council on Family Violence. “The Center for Disease Control has identified that intimate partner violence affects health in many ways. Women who have been victimized by an intimate partner and children raised in violent households are more likely to experience a wide array of physical and mental health conditions,” said Terry.

Domestic Violence survivor Courtney Sanchez spoke at today’s event to explain how the new federal health care law will make it easier for victims of domestic violence to have access to health care. “The 2014 Affordable Health Care Act will help to eliminate one of the largest obstacles to self-sufficiency for survivors of domestic violence, “ said Sanchez. “This law will help alleviate some of the stress associated with obtaining proper health care for survivors and their families.”

The Affordable Care Act Provides Better Coverage for Texas Women and Families by providing insurance options, covering preventive services and lowering costs:

Insurance Companies Can’t Deny Coverage to Women. Before the Affordable Care Act became law, insurance companies selling individual policies could deny coverage to women due to pre-existing conditions, such as cancer and having been pregnant. Under the law, insurance companies are already banned from denying coverage to children because of a pre-existing condition. In 2014, it will be illegal for insurance companies to discriminate against anyone with a pre-existing condition.

Women Have a Choice of Doctor. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, all Americans joining new insurance plans have the freedom to choose from any primary care provider, OB-GYN, or pediatrician in their health plan’s network, or emergency care outside of the plan’s network, without a referral.

Women Can Receive Preventive Care Without Co-pays. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, all Americans joining a new health care plan can receive recommended preventive services, like mammograms, new baby care and well-child visits, with no out-of-pocket costs

Women Pay Lower Health Care Costs. Before the law, women could be charged more for individual insurance policies simply because of their gender. A 22-year-old woman could be charged 150% the premium that a 22-year-old man paid. In 2014, insurers will not be able to charge women higher premiums than they charge men. The law takes strong action to control health care costs, including helping states crack down on excessive premium increases and making sure most of your premium dollars go for your health care.

Delivering New Coverage Options for Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions. Health plans that cover children can no longer exclude, limit or deny coverage to your child (under age 19) based on a pre-existing condition. In addition, the law created a new program called the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) to help provide coverage for uninsured people with pre-existing conditions until new insurance market rules that prohibit discriminating against anyone with a pre-existing condition go into effect in 2014.

Providing Consumers with New Rights and Protections: The Patient’s Bill of Rights. The Affordable Care Act frees Americans from worrying about losing their insurance, or having it capped unexpectedly if someone is in an accident or becomes sick, giving you greater control over your health insurance and care. It also places tough restrictions on health insurance companies to make them more accountable to you.

Requiring Plans to Cover Preventive Services Without Out-of-Pocket Costs. The law requires new health plans to cover recommended preventive services, including vaccinations, cost-free. Regular well-baby and well-child visits are also covered from birth through age 21. These services do not require a co-pay or co-insurance when offered by providers in your insurer’s network.

Allowing Kids Under 26 to Stay on Their Parents’ Plan. If your plan covers children, you can now add or keep your children on your health insurance policy until they turn 26 (except, in some cases, when your child’s employer offers health coverage). It doesn’t matter whether your child is married, living with you, in school, or financially dependent on you.

Passage of the health care law marks an important step forward for women’s health. “When Texans can see a doctor, they stay healthier. Children miss less school, families are able to work, and taxpayers are better off. Good, up-front preventative care means fewer needless trips to the emergency room. It means stopping diseases in their tracks. It means a health system that works better for all of us,” said Terry. TCFV is proud to join with HHSC, the Office of Women’s Health and families across the country in saying: protect our health care. Protect the health care law.


The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV), formed in 1978, is one of the largest domestic violence coalitions in the nation. TCFV promotes safe and healthy relationships by supporting service providers, facilitating strategic prevention efforts, and creating opportunities for freedom from domestic violence. www.tcfv.org