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Is it true that Obamacare’s preventive care mandates only help women?

Q. I’ve heard that Obamacare’s preventive care mandates only help women. I’m a man, and I feel like I’m getting the short end of the stick.

A: Never fear, the ACA mandates free preventive care for everyone. There are certain services that are specific to all adults, some for children, and a separate subset that apply to women. HHS has explained why there was a special need for mandated benefits that apply to women’s health – for the most part, it’s preventive care that applies to illnesses or conditions that only – or predominantly – impact women.

ACA open enrollment guide

The Insider’s Guide to Obamacare’s Open Enrollment, from author Louise Norris, offers time-saving strategies for selecting coverage during open enrollment.

And although you might feel like you’re getting fewer benefits from your premium dollars simply because you’re a man, chances are you have at least one or two loved ones who are female.

Your wife, mother, sister, aunt, daughter … they all have improved access to preventive care now. They’re less likely to die from cervical cancer if they have access to regular screening. They’re less likely to give birth to a premature baby if they have access to prenatal care. These are your loved ones – not just nameless women in a crowd.

And while ACA benefits like maternity and contraceptive coverage are specific to women, there is no doubt that they are beneficial to both men and women, since babies – and unintended pregnancies – have fathers. Even if you never plan to have children of your own, the babies being born today are the ones whose payroll taxes will be supporting our generation 30 years from now when we’re on Social Security and Medicare.