By Stephanie Stahl
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – 47 million American women can now get free health services, including birth control. It’s part of the President’s Affordable Care Act that went into effect Wednesday.
Cancer screenings are already covered in the health care law; today it expanded to include eight more services that insurance companies now have to pay for.
Screening and counseling for domestic violence are among the free services now available to women under the affordable care act.
Insurance companies will also have to cover well visits or check ups, like this one for Debbie Cini, who will no longer have a co-pay.
“I think it’s great. Co-pays are a lot, and any little bit that they can do to help us is great,” said Debbie.
Other preventative services now covered also include screenings for sexually transmitted diseases and testing pregnant women for gestational diabetes.
Also, new moms can get free breastfeeding support, including equipment.
“I know there’s all the equipment with the pumps and the tools that you need,” said Kristine Kimmel, who is pregnant.
“It’s really important to be doing preventive care and screening, and so I’m really glad now more women will have access to those services,” said Dr. Abigail Wolfe, an Ob-Gyn at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, says an important provision is insurance covering all FDA approved contraceptives.
“I think increasing access to birth control is just really important for women’s health in general,” said Dr. Wolfe.
The contraception coverage includes access to the morning-after pill, which conservative groups oppose.
“It’s wrong on many levels,” said Alice Stewart, with Concerned Women for America.
This law does not cover women who are uninsured or those with insurance plans that haven’t changed since March 2010.
Click here for more information on Free Preventive Care Under Health Care Law.