National Women’s Health Week begins on Mother’s Day each year. During this week, individuals, families, communities, and others work to help women learn how to achieve longer, healthier, and safer lives.
Beginning with Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 11, we celebrate National Women’s Health Week by encouraging the women in our lives – our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, cousins, friends, and colleagues – to take steps to live healthier, happier lives.
We know that women are often the ones who make sure that everyone – everyone else, that is – in our families are cared for. But too often, women put their own health last.
But the reality is unless you take care of yourself, you cannot really take care of your family. That means eating right, exercising, quitting smoking, and getting the care necessary to stay healthy. In fact, you can now use websites, apps, and mobile devices to help you track and manage your health.
Preventive services are critical to helping us stay healthy, but unfortunately they have not always been affordable. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, it is a new day for women’s health by making it easier for women to take control of their own health.
For many women, preventive services like mammograms, birth control, smoking cessation services, and annual well-woman visits are now available without any out-of-pocket costs. Also, as of 2014, the Affordable Care Act requires most insurers to cover maternity benefits as part of the package of essential health benefits.
And insurers can no longer refuse women coverage just because they’re battling cancer or have another pre-existing condition – and they won’t be allowed to charge women more just because they’re women. Being a woman is no longer a pre-existing condition.
It’s not just women with job-based insurance who are benefitting from the Affordable Care Act. The law has greatly expanded access to quality, affordable health coverage to uninsured women and men. More than 8 million Americans – more than 4.3 million of whom are women – have enrolled in affordable health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Open enrollment begins again in November.
On Sunday, May 11, 2014, President Barrack Obama proclaimed May 11 through 17, National’s Women’s Health Week. National Women’s Health Week is an observance led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health (OWH). The goal is to empower women to make their health a priority. National Women’s Health Week also serves as a time to help women understand what it means to be well.
— What does it mean to be a well woman?
It’s a state of mind. It’s being as healthy as you can be. And, most importantly, it’s about taking steps to improve your physical and mental health:
- Visit a health care professional to receive regular checkups and preventive screenings.
- Get active.
- Eat healthy.
- Pay attention to mental health, including getting enough sleep and managing stress.
- Avoid unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking, texting while driving, and not wearing a seatbelt or bicycle helmet.
Check out the National Women’s Health Week infographics.
— How can you celebrate National Women’s Health Week?
The OWH invites women across the country to join in the celebration:
- Organize or attend Meetups.
- Pledge to be a well woman.
- Spread the word through social media, email, community listservs, and more.
- Post the National Women’s Health Week web buttons to your website or blog.
Download a copy of the National Women’s Health Week fact sheet.
Spread the Word
Spread the word about National Women’s Health Week to your mom, sisters, daughters, friends, and coworkers! Invite them to join in the celebration by using the resources below.
- Share it through social media
- Email it to family, friends, and co-workers
- Post it to your blog or website
— Join or plan a Meetup
Join us in celebrating National Women’s Health Week by hosting or attending an event in your area. This year, we’re asking you to register your National Women’s Health Week event with Meetup Everywhere.
— Join the President’s Challenge
The President’s Challenge is the premier program of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition administered through a co-sponsorship agreement with the Amateur Athletic Union. The President’s Challenge helps people of all ages and abilities increase their physical activity and improve their fitness through research-based information, easy-to-use tools, and friendly motivation.
National Women’s Checkup Day is led by OWH. Our goal is to encourage women to schedule an annual well-woman visit.
A well-woman visit is a checkup. It’s a time to see your health care provider to:
- Discuss your health habits and family history.
- Get or schedule necessary screenings and exams.
- Set health goals.
- Schedule your well-woman visit every year.
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, it’s considered a preventive service and must be covered by most health plans at no cost to you. During your well-woman visit, you can receive many screenings free of charge, such as screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol, cervical cancer, and more. And if your health care provider says you need more than one well-woman visit in a year, the additional visits are also covered.
— When is National Women’s Checkup Day?
The 12th annual National Women’s Checkup Day is today, Monday, May 12, 2014, during National Women’s Health Week.
—Why is it important for women to participate in this effort?
Well-woman visits help you get the preventive care you need, including screenings. Screenings can find diseases early, when they are easier to treat. Screenings can also identify other problems and help lower your risk for many conditions, such as heart disease. Under the Affordable Care Act, many women can receive these services without paying a deductible or copay.
—How can you participate in this important event?
There are several ways to participate in National Women’s Checkup Day:
- Schedule a well-woman visit with your health care provider.
- Learn which screenings you need and at what age.
- Review the many preventive services for women covered under the Affordable Care Act.
- Urge your women friends and family to participate.
- Share information through social media.