Prevention & Wellness: New Preventive Benefits for Women

New Preventive Benefits for Women


It’s a new day for women under the Affordable Care Act.

Services to keep you healthy including well-woman visits, support for breastfeeding equipment, domestic violence screening and counseling, contraception, and more will be covered without cost sharing in new health plans starting in August 2012.

Giving Women Control Over Their Health Care

By Kathleen Sebelius,

Secretary of Health and Human Services


Women deserve to have control over their health care. Aug. 1, 2012, ushers in a new day for women’s health when, for the first time ever, women will have access to eight new services at no out-of-pocket cost to keep them healthier and to catch potentially serious conditions at an earlier, more treatable stage. This benefit will take effect for millions of adult and adolescent women over the course of the next year—and it’s just one of many benefits of the health care law that let women and their doctors, not insurance companies, make decisions about a woman’s care.

When it comes to health, women are often the primary decision-maker for their families and the trusted source in circles of friends. Women often take care of their families first and put off their own health care needs. Too often, they have gone without preventive services, worrying about what even a $20 insurance copay would mean to their families’ budgets and choosing to pay for groceries or rent instead.

But now, thanks to the health care law, many women won’t have to make that choice.

Because of the Affordable Care Act, women in private plans and Medicare already have received potentially life-saving services, such as mammograms, cholesterol screenings, and flu shots at no extra cost. Today, the law builds on these benefits, requiring new, non-grandfathered private health plans to offer eight additional screenings and tests for adolescent and adult women at no extra charge.

Free Preventive Care for You and Your Family

8 New Prevention-Related Services for Women
Effective August 1, 2012

Well-woman visits

  • Gestational diabetes screening for pregnant women
  • Domestic and interpersonal violence screening and counseling
  • FDA-approved contraception methods, and contraceptive education and counseling
  • Breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling
  • HPV DNA testing, for women 30 or older
  • Sexually transmitted infections counseling
  • HIV screening and counseling for sexually-active women
  • Covered Preventive Care

All Adults – See a list of no-cost screenings
Women – See benefits for pregnant women
Children – See a list of vaccinations for kids

To learn more about the health care services you are eligible for at no extra charge under the Affordable Care Act, go to

According to a new report, about 47 million women are eligible for these new additional preventive services that address their unique health care needs. Instead of letting insurance companies decide what care women receive, the health care law requires insurers to cover these preventive services in new plans beginning Aug. 1. Because these changes take effect at the beginning of a new plan year, the requirement may go into effect later in the year. Ask your insurance company when the new benefits will take effect for you.

Women’s health decisions shouldn’t be made by politicians or insurance companies. Rather than wasting time refighting old political battles, this Administration is moving forward and putting women in control of their own health care. If women are going to take care of their families and friends, they have to take care of themselves. The Affordable Care Act is making it easier for women to do that by making health care more accessible and affordable for millions of American women and families.



You may be eligible for preventive care such as blood pressure and cholesterol tests, mammograms, colonoscopies, screenings for osteoporosis and more. These benefits include coverage for vaccines.

Medicare Preventive Benefits for Seniors

Benefits include a yearly wellness visit, tobacco cessation counseling, and a range of no-cost screenings for cancer, diabetes, and other chronic diseases.

7 Prevention Resources for You and Your Family

Under the health care law, many insurers are required to cover certain preventive services at no cost to you.

Under the health care law, many insurers are required to cover certain preventive services at no cost to you, including vaccines, mammograms, cancer screenings, and more. Use the resources below to learn more about prevention and spread the word.

  1. Visit the Prevention & Wellness page on
  2. Learn about free preventive care for you and your family
  3. See a list of covered services for adults, women, and children
  4. Find out about Medicare Preventive Services for seniors
  5. Get prevention information and tools from
  6. Find out where to get your Flu Shot
  7. Visit to learn more about immunization

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