Beginning today eight new preventative health care services take effect under the Affordable Care Act that will directly benefit 47 million women nationwide.
Effective August 1st, women will not have to pay out-of-pocket or meet a deductible for the following services:
- “Well-woman” visit – annual wellness exam 
- Breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling.
- FDA-approved contraceptive methods and counseling.
- Gestational diabetes screening that helps protect pregnant women from one of the most serious pregnancy-related diseases.
- Domestic and interpersonal violence screening and counseling.
- HPV DNA testing, for women 30 or older.
- Sexually transmitted infections counseling for sexually-active women.
- HIV screening and counseling for sexually-active women.
Now women will see this new benefit take effect at varying times depending on their current health plan. The new ACA rules require coverage of these services take effect at the first of this month, or at the next renewal date of their health insurance plan. (To learn how the policy change will impact religious institutions, click here .)
More than 1.3 million women in North Carolina stand to benefit from the guaranteed women’s preventive health services, according to a new report  by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The Affordable Care Act has already made mammograms, cholesterol screenings, flu shots and other cancer screenings available without copays or deductibles.
And you can look for more changes benefiting women in 2014 — including a provision that will make it illegal for insurance companies to charge women more than men for their coverage, just because they’re women.