Affordable Care Act ensures women receive preventive services at no additional cost
WASHINGTON — New guidelines that will ensure women receive preventive health services at no additional cost were announced Monday by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Developed by the independent Institute of Medicine, the new guidelines require new health insurance plans to cover women’s preventive services, such as well-woman visits, breast-feeding support, domestic violence screening and contraception without charging a co-payment, co-insurance or a deductible.
“The Affordable Care Act helps stop health problems before they start,” stated HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “These historic guidelines are based on science and existing literature and will help ensure women get the preventive health benefits they need.”
Last summer, HHS released new insurance market rules under the Affordable Care Act requiring all new private health plans to cover several evidence-based preventive services, such as mammograms, colonoscopies, blood-pressure checks and childhood immunizations, without charging a co-payment, deductible or coinsurance. The Affordable Care Act also made recommended preventive services free for people on Medicare.
Today’s announcement builds on that progress by making sure women have access to a full range of recommended preventive services without cost sharing, including:
Screening for gestational diabetes;
Human papillomavirus DNA testing for women 30 years and older;
Sexually transmitted infection counseling;
Human immunodeficiency virus screening and counseling;
FDA-approved contraception methods and contraceptive counseling;
Breast-feeding support, supplies and counseling; and
Domestic violence screening and counseling.
New health plans will need to include these services without cost sharing for insurance policies with plan years beginning on or after Aug. 1, 2012.
Jarrow Formulas launches antioxidant
LOS ANGELES — Jarrow Formulas recently launched the dietary supplement Pterostilbene in support of healthy aging.
Pterostilbene is found naturally in blueberries, grapes and the bark of the Indian kino tree (Pterocarpus marsupium), the company stated. Also called dimethylresveratrol, it is a member of the class of nutrients known as stilbenes, which also includes resveratrol. Jarrow noted that Pterostilbene has demonstrated positive results in such areas as cardiovascular and brain health.
The Pterostilbene source used by Jarrow Formulas is the subject of several ongoing scientific trials, the company noted. These include clinical research being conducted at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in connection with the plant compound’s effects with regard to cholesterol, blood pressure, inflammatory responses and oxidative stress.
Jarrow Formulas’ 60-capsule bottle has a suggested retail price of $29.95.
EyeScience launches computer eye strain formula
COLUMBUS, Ohio — EyeScience on Thursday introduced a new eye vitamin for those who spend their work day staring at a computer screen in an effort to help prevent and alleviate vision problems associated with computer vision syndrome.
"With more than 70% of computer users suffering from computer vision syndrome, this new vitamin marks a significant leap in reducing eye strain and eye fatigue symptoms caused by many hours of computer use," EyeScience Labs president and CEO Jeff Northup said. "The ingredients in our formula help improve symptoms associated with tiredness, soreness, dryness and blurry vision."
"Sitting in front of the computer for an extended amount of time and having multiple electronics or mobile devices shifts the way our bodies communicate on a number of levels, but particularly our eyes, which many people tend to overlook," he continued. "Our Computer Eye Strain Formula addresses new health side effects in a digital age and finally gives people who suffer from eye fatigue a vitamin supplement resource to help improve this troublesome and sometimes painful inconvenience."
Some of the symptoms of computer vision syndrome include squinting, eye fatigue, headaches, distorted color perception, sensitivity to glare, blurry/double vision and dry, itchy, watery eyes.
"We believe that computer eye strain formula is ideal for people who spend much of the day looking at computer screens or other digital devices," Northup said. "This may be for personal or professional reasons and can be applied to anyone working in digital media, music, entertainment and gaming, to engineers, accountants, bloggers or editors. Simple personal use ranging from Facebook to browsing the mobile Web or using our iPads and cell phones in the dark can take a toll on our eyes."