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There's a lot of good news for women in the Affordable Care Act. By law, the following services must be covered by your insurance.
Most policies must now cover pregnancy care, and pregnancy can no longer be considered a preexisting condition that could keep you from getting coverage.
By law, birth is now a covered benefit, along with newborn care while you're in the hospital.
An annual well-woman preventive-care visit, which includes a gynecological exam as well as any necessary follow-up visits, is now covered at no cost.
A printable list to show your doctor
A gestational-diabetes test between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy is covered. Women who find out they have gestational diabetes or who are at high risk of developing it can modify their diet and monitor their blood sugar to control the condition.
Breastfeeding support and supplies
Pregnant women and new moms can now get free lactation support and counseling to help them with breastfeeding. New moms can also get a breast pump for free, but each insurance plan will have different guidelines on whether the pump is a rental or a new one for you to keep and what type of pump (for example, manual or electric) is covered.
Done building your family? Women in their childbearing years can obtain federally approved methods of contraception, as well as sterilization procedures and emergency contraception such as Plan B, free from an in-network provider for most insurance plans (certain religious employers and some nonprofit religious organizations are exempt). Vasectomies for men are not covered.
Less than a third of women ages 18 to 44 say they've talked about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) with a health-care provider. But talking about STIs can help reduce risky sexual behavior. Annual STI counseling for sexually active women is free from an in-network provider for most insurance plans.
HIV screening and counseling
Sexually active women may choose to have annual HIV screening and counseling – important, especially in light of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s statistics, which show that 20 percent of new HIV infections in the U.S. were women, and 84 percent of those were from heterosexual contact.
HPV DNA testing
Women 30 or older are eligible for high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA testing every three years, even if they have routine Pap smears as well. Screening and early detection are the most effective ways to reduce the risk of cervical cancer.
One in four U.S. women has experienced intimate partner violence. All teenage and adult women qualify for free screening and counseling for interpersonal and domestic violence.