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Women's Health
Family Planning

Free Birth Control

... and a bunch of other great stuff

Beginning AUGUST 1, 2012 a whole range of crucial health care services became available to women with no cost-sharing like co-pays or deductible, thanks to the Affordable Care Act. (See U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Press Release)

Studies show that most women don't know about all the benefits they can use in the new health care law. If the women in your life don't know about this, they can't use the new benefits — benefits that could save them money, time and maybe even their lives. So please share this with everyone you know!

  • Birth Control is covered!
    All FDA-approved methods of birth control — including the pill, IUDs and more — are now covered by insurance when prescribed by your doctor. According to a recent survey, one in three women has struggled to afford birth control, so we have to make sure we get the word out about this.
  • Your Annual Checkups are also now covered.
    The health care law requires insurance companies to pay for an annual "well woman" checkup, including preconception care.
  • New Benefits for New Moms.
    Counseling and support for breast-feeding, as well as the cost of renting equipment, is now covered.
  • No more Co-Pays for Pap Smears.
    (Sorry, you still have to get them.) Insurance companies now have to cover Pap smears, mammograms for women over 40, HPV testing and possibly even colon cancer screenings if your doctor thinks you should get on.
  • More support for Domestic Violence survivors.
    Domestic violence screening and counseling is now covered. If you know a woman who is a survivor, it is critical she knows about this — it may help save her life.
  • Crucial Disease screening is covered.
    Counseling and/or screening for several diseases is now covered, including gestational diabetes, HPV and HIV.

Plus, There's More!

A ton of benefits are already in effect or will be soon. Check them out:

  • You can pump at work! Companies with 50 or more employees are required to make sure new moms have time and space to pump.
  • Being a woman will no longer be a "pre-existing condition." (Seriously, it is) And insurance companies won't be able to charge you more just for being a woman anymore. (And boy, do they.)**
  • Young adults can easily get coverage. Young adults mostly don't get health insurance because they can't afford it and figure they don't need it. This can be disastrous if they get sick. Now kids under the age of 26 can stay on their parent's coverage — regardless of whether they live at home or not.
  • Kids with pre-existing conditions can finally get insurance. And soon adults will be able to as well. Also, insurance companies can't take away your coverage if you become too sick, and there are no lifetime limits on coverage anymore.**
  • There will be tax credits and subsidies to help you buy insurance. Millions of Americans are going to receive tax credits to help them get insurance if they can't afford it, and small businesses will also get credits to purchase insurance.**
  • Seniors are getting help with health care and medicine. Twelve million seniors are currently receiving no-cost preventive care through Medicare, and seniors receive a 50 percent discount on prescription drugs when they hit the "donut hole."*

* The regulation requiring insurance companies to cover these services goes into effect on August 1 in plan years that begin on or after August 1. That means for most people, these services will kick in when your next health insurance plan starts, which is August for most student plans and January for most employee plans.

**These will go into effect in 2014.

Have health insurance, but not sure what benefits you should be receiving? Find out state specific information and answers to other questions at

Other Links

North Carolina

National The Office on Women's Health (OWH), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), works to improve the health and sense of well-being of all U.S. women and girls. OWH serves as the focal point for women's health activities across HHS offices and agencies and leads HHS efforts to ensure that all women and girls achieve the best possible health.

For more health information, search MedlinePlus

MedlinePlus Trusted Health Information for You

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Last updated: January 2015


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