Monthly Archives: July 2012

Giving Women Control over their Healthcare

Women deserve to have control over their health care. Aug. 1, 2012, ushers in a new day for women’s health when, for the first time ever, women will have access to eight new services at no out-of-pocket cost to keep them healthier and to catch potentially serious conditions at an earlier, more treatable stage. This benefit will take effect for millions of adult and adolescent women over the course of the next year — and it’s just one of many benefits of the health care law that let women and their doctors, not insurance companies, make decisions about a woman’s care. 

When it comes to health, women are often the primary decision-maker for their families and the trusted source in circles of friends. Women often take care of their families first and put off their own health care needs. Too often, they have gone without preventive services, worrying about what even a $20 insurance co-pay would mean to their families’ budgets and choosing to pay for groceries or rent instead.

But now, thanks to the health care law, many women won’t have to make that choice.

Because of the Affordable Care Act, women in private plans and Medicare already have received potentially life-saving services, such as mammograms, cholesterol screenings and flu shots at no extra cost. Today, the law builds on these benefits, requiring new, non-grandfathered private health plans to offer eight additional screenings and tests for adolescent and adult women at no extra charge. These include:

  • Well-woman visits.
  • Gestational diabetes screenings that help protect the mother and her child from one of the most serious pregnancy-related diseases.
  • Domestic and interpersonal violence screening and counseling.
  • FDA-approved contraceptive products, which have proven health benefits like a reduced risk of cancer and protecting against osteoporosis.
  • Breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling.
  • HPV DNA testing, for women 30 or older.
  • Sexually transmitted infections counseling.
  • HIV screening and counseling.
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Stocks Perform Better when Women on Company Board

Companies with women on their boards performed better in challenging markets than those with all-male boards in a study suggesting that mixing genders may temper risky investment moves and increase return on equity.

Shares of companies with a market capitalization of more than $10 billion and with women board members outperformed comparable businesses with all-male boards by 26 percent worldwide over a period of six years, according to a report by the Credit Suisse Research Institute, created in 2008 to analyze trends expected to affect global markets.

The number of women in boardrooms has increased since the end of 2005 as countries such as Norway instituted quotas and companies including Facebook Inc. (FB) added femaledirectors after drawing criticism for a lack of gender diversity. The research, which includes data from 2,360 companies, shows a greater correlation between stock performance and the presence of women on the board after the financial crisis started four years ago.    

“Companies with women on boards really outperformed when the downturn came through in 2008,” Mary Curtis, director of thematic equity research at Credit Suisse in Johannesburg and an author of the report, said in a telephone interview. “Stocks of companies with women on boards tend to be a little more risk averse and have on average a little less debt, which seems to be one of the key reasons why they’ve outperformed so strongly in this particular period.”

(more…)

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