Women's health insurance rights

Under state law (app.leg.wa.gov), health insurance companies must give female patients direct access to women's health care providers and to allow them to self-refer to services, such as:

  • Maternity care
  • Reproductive health services
  • Gynecological care
  • General exams
  • Preventive care

Women’s health care providers include:

  • Licensed specialty doctors, such as gynecologists and obstetricians
  • Licensed physician assistants or registered nurse practitioners specializing in women's health and midwifery

Your health insurance company must allow you to:

  • Choose a participating women's health care provider from its network provider list
  • Self-refer to a network provider to receive women's health care services

Health reform for women's health services

Due to health reform, most health plans must cover a list of preventive health services for women (www.healthcare.gov), such as:

  • Well-woman visits (including routine breast and pelvic exams)
  • Gestational diabetes screening
  • HPV (human Papillomavirus) testing
  • Counseling for sexually transmitted infections
  • Domestic violence screening
  • Breastfeeding supplies
  • Prescription contraceptives

In addition, if you receive these preventive services from a network provider for an individual or small group plan, you won't be charged a copayment, coinsurance, or have the charges applied to your annual deductible.

Updated 08/21/2014

See also

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