Credit: Department of Health and Human Services Preventative Care for Women Video

(WOMENSENEWS)–Women’s advocates celebrated Tuesday the broadening of women’s access to eight preventive health services under the Affordable Care Act, which starts taking effect Aug. 1.

“Tomorrow, women throughout the state — and across the nation — can breathe a sigh of relief when several key provisions of the Affordable Care Act go into effect. Many critical preventive care services will be available with no co-pays or deductibles for women with employer-sponsored health insurance, ” said Teresa Younger,  executive director of Connecticut’s Permanent Commission on the Status of Women, in a July 31 press statement.

“This is a major step forward for all women and girls in this country,” said Judy Waxman, vice president of health and reproductive rights at the Washington-based National Women’s Law Center in a press call hosted by HERvotes, a coalition of more than 50 women’s organizations.

The new rules in the law ensure that services not covered by insurance companies will be covered when plans are renewed, on or after Aug. 1. All insurance plans must provide the services by January 1, 2014.

Forty seven million women will have access to services with no out-of-pocket fees, which include reproductive services, maternal health initiatives and domestic violence counseling, the Department of Health and Human Services said in a press statement.

Here are the eight services that will be available to all women by 2014:

  • Well-woman visits.
  • Gestational diabetes screening that helps protect pregnant women from one of the most serious pregnancy-related diseases.
  • Domestic and interpersonal violence screening and counseling.
  • FDA-approved contraceptive methods, and contraceptive education and counseling.
  • Breastfeeding support, supplies, 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. 

Sadiya Ansari is a Pakistani-Canadian freelance journalist, currently reporting from New York.