With potential changes coming to healthcare coverage, now is a good time to come in for your annual well woman exam.   Under current healthcare law (The Affordable Care Act), private insurance plans must cover preventive services without patient cost-sharing.1

Some of these preventive services include:

  • Cervical cancer screening for sexually active women (PAP test)
  • Contraception
  • Breast cancer genetic test counseling (BRCA) 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
  • Domestic and interpersonal violence screening and counseling for all women
  • Gonorrhea and Syphilis screening for all women at higher risk
  • HIV screening and counseling for sexually active women
  • Human Papillomavirus DNA test every 3 years for women with normal cytology results who are 30 or older
  • Osteoporosis screening for women over age 60 depending on risk factors
  • Well-woman visits for women under 65

Additional services are covered for pregnant women or women who may become pregnant, including:

  • Anemia screening on a routine basis
  • Breastfeeding support and counseling
  • Folic acid supplements for women who may become pregnant
  • Gestational diabetes screening for women 24 to 28 weeks pregnant and those at high risk of developing gestational diabetes
  • Hepatitis B screening for pregnant women at their first prenatal visit
  • Rh Incompatibility screening for pregnant women and follow-up testing for those at higher risk
  • Urinary tract or other infection screening

(see full lists at healthcare.gov)

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecology (ACOG) guidelines say that all women aged 21 – 29 should have a Pap test every three years. Women aged 30 – 65 should have a Pap test Plus an HPV test every 5 years or a Pap test alone every 3 years.  Women over 65 do not need screening if they have no history of cervical cancer.   The ACOG also recommends that all women should see an OBGYN annually for a well-woman exam.

Research shows that preventive services can save lives by identifying illness early and implementing treatment before more complicated conditions develop.

Please be good to yourself and schedule an annual exam if you haven’t already.  Take care of yourself and enjoy the rewards.

1These services are free only when delivered by a doctor or other provider in your plan’s network.