Under state law (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.