Health Insurance Benefits for Women in California

Insurance is critical for making health care accessible and affordable for women. From mammograms to maternal care, women’s health care helps millions of American women maintain a better quality of life. Fortunately for California residents, the state has committed to providing women with benefits they need in multiple areas, from disease prevention to reproductive health.

Wherever you are in your health journey, receiving health care is simple with women’s health benefits in California. Learn more about the benefits you can receive with Health for California.

Preventive Care

Preventive care is vital for helping people catch and treat health issues before they become severe. The Affordable Care Act of 2010 expanded the preventive services that health insurance plans must provide women without charging coinsurance or a copayment.

You must review a plan’s preventive care services before signing up. Here are a few of the most common preventive services women in California can receive.


The covered preventive health benefits for women outlined by the ACA include breast cancer mammography screenings. If you have insurance through an individual or group plan, you are eligible to receive mammograms every two years if you are 50 and over or as a provider recommends if you are between ages 40 and 49 and at high risk. Plans must also provide breast cancer genetic test counseling for high-risk women.

California’s Every Woman Counts program also provides free breast cancer screenings to low-income residents who meet the eligibility requirements. You must have no or limited health insurance to qualify for these screenings.

Sexually Transmitted Disease Screening

Another preventive service the ACA covers for women is sexually transmitted disease screening. Those at increased risk can receive additional screenings. If you are sexually active, you are also eligible for STI counseling. Some of the covered services for STD prevention are:

  • Chlamydia infection screening
  • Gonorrhea screening for women at high risk
  • Human immunodeficiency virus screening

Cervical Cancer Screening

Cervical cancer screening is another essential preventive service covered by insurance plans under the ACA. Women between 21 and 65 are eligible to receive annual Pap tests. These screenings detect cancer cells and abnormal cells that may turn into cancer. If you qualify, you can also receive free cervical cancer screenings through Every Woman Counts.

Maternal Care

Women’s health insurance coverage in California also covers maternal and postpartum care services. Pregnancy and maternity care are among 10 essential health benefits covered under the ACA. Low-income pregnant women may also qualify for Medi-Cal, California’s health care program for low-income people.

If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, here’s the range of services to expect from your health coverage.

Preventive Screening

Pregnant women qualify for several types of preventive screenings and services, including:

  • Gestational diabetes screening for pregnant women between 24 and 28 weeks of gestation
  • Preeclampsia screening and prevention for pregnant women with high blood pressure
  • Hepatitis B screenings
  • Syphilis screening

Breastfeeding Support

Breastfeeding can come with challenges. Expectant moms in California can receive several breastfeeding benefits through their insurance. These benefits include services such as counseling from a lactation consultant. Pregnant and nursing women can also receive breastfeeding supplies like breast pumps.

Postpartum Care

Women can continue receiving maternal care after they’ve delivered their babies. For example, screenings for new mothers can identify and prevent postpartum depression.

If you recently had a baby and don’t have insurance, having a child counts as a qualifying life event that allows you to enroll in health insurance outside the open enrollment period, so you can receive the treatments and services you need sooner.

Contraception and Reproductive Health

Reproductive health care is crucial to women’s health care services in California. Birth control methods approved by the Food and Drug Administration, including hormonal birth control, intra-uterine devices and emergency contraception, are part of essential preventive coverage under the ACA for all Americans with non-grandfathered plans. However, California has expanded those benefits.

In late 2022, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the Contraceptive Equity Act of 2022 into law. The Contraceptive Equity Act expands birth control access statewide, regardless of gender or insurance coverage. Health plans must cover specific over-the-counter contraceptives and vasectomies without cost sharing. The bill also specifies that employers cannot discriminate based on employees’ reproductive health decisions. A religious employer may request not to provide an insurance plan that covers contraception.

California also has some of the broadest abortion rights of all states. Newsom passed several new protections for women seeking an abortion, including protection against criminal or civil liability and privacy protections. Insurance plans must also cover abortions, and health care providers that provide uncompensated abortions for low-income women are eligible for grants.

Breast and Cervical Cancer

If you have a breast or cervical cancer diagnosis and meet specific income requirements, you may qualify for cancer treatment benefits through a specific California program. The California Department of Health Care Services implemented the Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program in 2002. This program provides cancer treatments and related services to eligible women diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer.

California residents are eligible for BCCTP treatment for breast and cervical cancer if their gross family income is 200% of the federal poverty level. Even women who already have health insurance can apply for BCCTP treatments.

Mental Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women are more likely than men to seek mental health treatment, including medication and counseling. It’s critical to understand mental health coverage so you know what benefits you can receive.

Mental health services are essential, and for women in California, help is available. Plans that are part of federally or state-managed marketplaces must provide substance abuse and behavioral health treatments.

Insurance plans must provide domestic violence screening for all women, which can help women experiencing abuse find healing. While the law doesn’t require all insurance plans to provide mental health coverage, many do.

Get the Health Insurance Benefits You Need With Health for California

For women’s health information in California, Health for California has you covered. Health for California is a health insurance exchange with professionals licensed by the California Department of Insurance. We make it simple to search for health coverage in California by offering quick and easy quotes, helping you through the application process and answering any questions you have.

To get a quote or speak with our team to learn more about your options, reach out to us today.

Not sure how Obamacare affects your health care plans in California? Learn how the ACA works in California, including benefits, costs and enrollment.

Covered California is the Golden State’s official health exchange marketplace where individuals, families and small businesses can find high-quality, low-cost California government health insurance.

Learn about Obamacare income guidelines in California using our income limits chart, and see if you’re eligible for government assistance.

Learn about the Covered California website. Find easy online enrollment. Set up your account, log in, buy insurance and more on the California health marketplace website.