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The Affordable Care Act, enacted August of 2012, helps to make preventive services affordable and accessible by requiring health insurance plans to cover preventive services recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), an advisory committee on immunization and guidelines recommended by the Academy of Pediatrics. The act also requires insurance companies to cover select preventive health care for women and has adopted new guidelines for women’s preventive services that goes a long way to improving some comprehensive services for women.

clip_image002Well-woman visits: This would include an annual well-woman preventive care visit for adult women to obtain the recommended preventive services, and additional visits if women and their health care providers determine they are necessary.

Gestational diabetes screening: This screening is for women 24 to 28 weeks pregnant, and those at high risk of developing gestational diabetes.

HPV DNA testing: Women who are 30 or older will have access to high-risk human papilloma virus (HPV) DNA testing every three years, regardless of Pap smear results.

STI counseling: Sexually-active women will have access to annual counseling on sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

HIV screening and counseling: Sexually-active women will have access to annual counseling on HIV.

Contraception and contraceptive counseling: Women will have access to all Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling. These recommendations do not include abortifacient drugs.

Breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling: Pregnant and postpartum women will have access to comprehensive lactation support and counseling from trained providers, as well as breastfeeding equipment.

Interpersonal and domestic violence screening and counseling: Screening and counseling for interpersonal and domestic violence should be provided for all adolescent and adult women.

Other tests and screening and services that are now mandated to be covered:

Anemia: screening on a routine basis for pregnant women

Bacteriuria: urinary tract or other infection screening for pregnant women

BRCA (breast cancer gene): counseling about genetic testing for women at higher risk

Breast Cancer Mammography: screenings every 1 to 2 years for women over 40

Breast Cancer Chemoprevention: counseling for women at higher risk

Chlamydia Infection: screening for younger women and other women at higher risk

Folic Acid: supplements for women who may become pregnant

Gonorrhea: screening for all women at higher risk

Hepatitis B: screening for pregnant women at their first prenatal visit

Syphilis: screening for all pregnant women or other women at increased risk

Osteoporosis: screening for women over age 60 depending on risk factors

Rh Incompatibility: screening for all pregnant women and follow-up testing for women at higher risk

Tobacco Use: screening and interventions for all women, and expanded counseling for pregnant tobacco users