From reproductive health and gynecology services to mental health and mammogram screenings, learn what you can expect from a California-based health insurance plan. 

Women’s health care is central to a healthy world. Thankfully, California is committed to providing critical forms of health care—including reproductive health—for all women. Most health plans in California offer preventive care, mental health services, maternal health services, and coverage for other women’s health issues. One way to access these benefits is through Covered California, a free service that helps Californians find and pay for quality brand-name health insurance.

Preventive Care for Women

Health plans must provide coverage for women’s health services, such as women-specific free preventive care. Annual well-woman gynecology care, breastfeeding support, breast cancer genetic test counseling (BRCA) for women at higher risk, sexually transmitted infection (STI) screening, mammogram screening for women over 40, osteoporosis screening for women over 60 and more are covered at no additional cost.

Mental Health Services

As women are two to three times more likely to be diagnosed with depression than men, mental health coverage is one more way of bringing women’s health to the forefront. And mental and behavioral health services are essential benefits that must be covered by insurance, according to federal law.   

With a health insurance plan, your coverage includes behavioral health treatment like counseling, inpatient mental and behavioral health care, and substance abuse disorder treatment. California law adds an extra layer of protection by requiring health plans in the state to cover a wide swath of mental health conditions (major depressive disorders, bipolar disorder, anorexia nervosa and more).

Maternal Health Coverage

Prenatal care, labor, and delivery are covered under all plans available through Covered California. Preventive services are guaranteed for expecting moms. That includes screening tests for gestational diabetes, hepatitis B, and anemia. Folic acid supplements – recommended during pregnancy – are available for no cost with a prescription. New moms can also get access to lactation support and breastfeeding equipment.

Pregnant women without a health plan may also be eligible for free or affordable pregnancy coverage through Medi-Cal (California’s health care program for people with low income) and the Medi-Cal Access Program (MCAP). MCAP is for pregnant middle-income women without health insurance who aren’t eligible for Medi-Cal. If you have insurance but your plan doesn’t include maternity services, MCAP can help with that too. It can also help with maternity-only deductibles or copayments greater than $500. Women eligible for these pregnancy care programs get a year of postpartum (after childbirth) care coverage, regardless of immigration status or how the pregnancy ends.

Reproductive Health and Birth Control

In California, reproductive care is basic health care. Contraceptive methods, including hormonal birth control, intrauterine devices (IUDs) and emergency contraception like the morning-after pill, are covered with a prescription. Under California law, insurance plans must also cover abortion care as well.

California has taken additional steps to protect and improve access to reproductive health care. Governor Newsom passed a $125 million package to invest in women’s health specialists and family planning, support sexual health education, and help low- and moderate-income women pay for medical abortions.

What’s more, the California governor recently signed a bill — known as the Contraceptive Equity Act of 2022 — to expand access to birth control across the state. This bill requires coverage of over-the-counter birth control options and vasectomy procedures, and clarifies that employers may not discriminate against employees for their contraceptive or reproductive health decisions.

Staying Insured Is Easier Than Ever

Take advantage of all the benefits California offers insured individuals by signing up for a health plan. Coverage may cost less than you think — many people pay as little as $0 per month when they apply through Covered California. Not sure where to start? Get the enrollment help you need by contacting Covered California today.