Health Care Law Offers New, Free Preventive Services for Women

Unless you’ve been living under that ol’ proverbial rock, you’ve probably heard about the Affordable Care Act. But even with all the buzz, you may still not fully understand everything that’s included, or how exactly it impacts you and your family. Plus, new things are being added. Today, a rule comes into effect that will grant women, with health plans renewing on or after today, access to eight prevention-related health services, at no cost to them. And that, as I understand it, is great news, especially for any woman who’s put off or avoided potentially life-saving preventive care because of cost. If you’re one of the 47 million eligible women, you’ll now receive the following, free of charge:

  • Well-woman visits
  • Gestational diabetes screening that helps protect pregnant women from one of the most serious pregnancy-related diseases.
  • Domestic and interpersonal violence screening and counseling
  • FDA-approved contraceptive methods, and contraceptive education and counseling
  • Breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling
  • HPV DNA testing, for women 30 or older
  • Sexually transmitted infections counseling for sexually-active women
  • HIV screening and counseling for sexually-active women

These are in addition to 14 other health care services already covered under the Affordable Care Act. As Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of health and human services, writes on, “women deserve to have control over their health care.” I’m not going to argue with that.

Image: Doctor with female patient via Shutterstock

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