Free and Low Cost Health Screenings Available to Women

PCMI Employee Education

This issue's employee education is devoted to reminding all the women in our lives to schedule their annual well-woman visits and health screenings. Research shows that getting regular health screenings can assist in catching potential health problems while they are still treatable and less costly for both employee and employer.

A recent example of the importance of getting regular health screenings involved singer Taylor Swift and her mom. In December 2014, Taylor asked her mom if she would get a health check-up as one of her Christmas gifts. It had been a while since she scheduled a routine visit.  When the results came back, Andrea Swift, 57, found out that she had cancer. While the details of her diagnosis and treatment have remained private, Taylor did share her mother’s cancer diagnosis publically. Taylor said in a tweet that while she understands how busy it is for women to juggle everything in their lives, it is important to remind them that a health screening can lead to an earlier diagnosis and an easier battle to fight. 

Did you know that since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) became law in 2010, the annual well-woman visit is considered preventive and included as part of every health plan? That means that it does not require a co-pay or deductible! See below for a partial list of no-cost screenings for women as well as recommendations by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force on how often they should be performed.

  • Mammogram. Every one to two years for women 40 and older.
  • Cervical cancer screening or Pap Test. Every one to two years for sexually active women. 
  • Breast cancer genetic test screening. At least once for woman who are at high risk for breast cancer
  • A number of health screenings for pregnant women

    Other screenings that should be done but may have a minimal cost include:

  • Colonoscopy for women over 50, every 10 years. 
  • Cholesterol and blood pressure test, also called a fasting lipoprotein profile. Every five years.
  • Diabetes test.  Every three years after the age of 45.
  • Skin exam. Talk to your doctor about getting a screening for skin cancer especially if you are fair-skinned or spend a lot of time outdoors. 

For the complete list of no-cost screenings that are included as part of your health plan, see this article from