As a new mom, you'll want to focus on enjoying your newborn. Easy access to health care should help. Several changes made by the Affordable Care Act will help make sure you and your baby get good care.
After Delivery: Postpartum Care
Under the Affordable Care Act, health plans must make several types of care available. For instance:
Well-woman visits. You get one free doctor's visit every year. It can help you get the recommended preventive care you need and other services to stay healthy.
Depression screening and treatment. Free screening for depression, including postpartum depression, is available. If you have postpartum depression, you can get treatment. Health plans must cover behavioral health and substance abuse treatment just as they would cover treatment for other medical conditions.
Quitting smoking. Smoking is bad for you. And second hand smoke can harm your baby. You can get free help to quit under health care reform.
Diabetes screening. Some women develop diabetes during pregnancy. This is called gestational diabetes. As part of your prenatal care, you can get screened for gestational diabetes at no cost to you at the time of your visit.
Domestic violence screening and counseling. One in four women is a victim of domestic violence. Under the law, screening and counseling for domestic violence is covered at no cost for all women of childbearing age.
All new health plans will have these benefits. So does Medicaid. But if your health plan was in place before the Affordable Care Act became law and has made very few changes to its benefits, it is considered a "grandfathered" plan. These plans can require you to pay a copay, coinsurance, or deductible at the time of the service. Some plans offered by workplaces are grandfathered. You must confirm whether your plan provides preventive services at no cost.
Breastfeeding is one of the best ways for you to protect your health and the health of your newborn. Because of that, one goal of health reform is to make breastfeeding easier. It does that by getting rid of things that have kept many women from breastfeeding.