The purpose of this program is to increase knowledge and awareness of well-woman visits and resources in the community to receive these services. A well-woman visit is a once-a-year check-up of your health, just for women, that is typically covered by your insurance. Illinois Medicaid covers many preventative services including your annual well-woman visit to your doctor.
Funding provided in whole or in part by the Illinois Department of Public Health, Illinois Title V Program
What Does a Well-woman Checkup Include?
Schedule a well-woman visit with your doctor or nurse every year. The well-woman visit is an important way to help you stay healthy.
- Services, like vaccines (shots), that improve your health by preventing diseases and other health problems
- Preventative screening tests, which are medical tests to check for diseases early when they may be easier to treat
- Education and counseling to help you make informed health decisions.
- Clinical and behavioral interventions to help prevent or manage chronic diseases or risk factors
- Education and referrals for managing or treating mental health conditions
“Preventative care” is regular health care intended to keep you healthy and avoid disease. As part of the Affordable Care Act, all health insurance companies must pay for all of the cost of the preventive services listed below. Illinois Medicaid also covers preventative services. Yearly well-woman checkups are preventative care.
Medical History Form
You may need to fill out a medical history form about yourself and your family. Once your healthcare provider reviews your medical history, he or she will talk with you about your present-day life.
Uterine Health: Menstruation (your period), irregular or abnormally heavy period, menopause (the end of your period), pregnancy and family planning
Sexual Activity: Contraception options and safe sex practices, counseling and additional help with any sexual abuse or assault, sexually transmitted infections (STI) awareness
Nutrition and Exercise: Exercise, diet and unusual weight gain or loss, problems with eating disorders
Mental and Emotional Health: Relationships with friends, family, or significant others, depression or anxiety, big changes in work or personal life, gender or identity
Possible Screenings that May be Included in Your Well-Woman Visit
Your physical exam gives your provider a good idea of your overall health and determines if you’re at risk for any health conditions. The type of exams and screening may include:
Height/weight/blood pressure measurements
Checking your risk for: Heart disease, Thyroid disorder, Diabetes, Obesity, and more
Breast Exam & Mammogram
Breast Exam as part of your clinical exam
A physical exam during which your provider will circle your breasts and feel for lumps or other unusual tissue.
An X-ray of your breasts to detect abnormalities that may not be obvious from a clinical exam. There is a lot of confusion around when to start getting mammograms and how often to receive them. If you and your doctor agree, you can have a mammogram every year starting at age 40.
Pelvic Exam and Pap Smears
During your external pelvic exam, your healthcare provider will visually examine the outside of your genital area and feel your abdomen for lumps or anything out of the ordinary.
You may also receive an internal exam and/or a Pap smear, enabling your provider to better examine your reproductive organs and take any samples needed for testing.
STI testing is an important part of protecting your reproductive health and fertility.
Your provider may recommend certain testing based on your age, while other tests may be right for you depending on the presence of symptoms or if you have an increased level of risk.
- Chlamydia and gonorrhea are common STIs that can be present with or without symptoms. Without treatment they can lead to infertility.
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a group of related viruses that can also be present with or without symptoms. HPV is a risk factor for several types of cancer, including cervical, anal, and oral cancers.
- Trichomoniasis, bacterial vaginosis (BV) and yeast infections are common causes of vaginitis, which is inflammation of the vagina. Trichomoniasis is an STI, while BV and yeast infections are not. Vaginitis can cause itching, abnormal discharge and discomfort. Untreated trichomoniasis is linked to pregnancy complications and a higher chance of being infected with other STIs.
- Other types of STIs you should be familiar with include herpes, syphilis, HIV, hepatitis B and others.
What Exams Are Right For You?
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends different types of tests and immunizations depending on your age. If you have certain risk factors, you may need additional exams or tests. Your provider will help you determine what’s most appropriate.
STI Testing: Receive annual chlamydia and gonorrhea testing if you are sexually active and younger than 25 years old or if you are age 25 or older in a high-risk group. If you have not previously been tested or are in a high-risk group, you should also receive HIV testing.
Cervical Cancer Screening: If you are age 21-29, screening with Pap testing is recommended. If you are age 30-65, Pap + HPV together (co-testing) is preferred.
Breast Exam: Begin annual clinical breast exams at age 20. Perform regular breast self-exams at home.
Immunizations: You may receive immunizations for diphtheria, HPV, influenza, measles, meningitis, and varicella
Insurance and Your Well-Woman Visit
No. It’s covered under the Affordable Care Act with your insurance and with Illinois Medicaid.
- No co-pay
- No deductible
- No out-of-pocket cost
Below is a list of health Insurance information and where to go for enrollment.
ACA AND MEDICAID ENROLLMENT COUNSELORS AT WILL COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT:
Well-Women Resource Guide
Community Health Center Family Planning Services Guide
Will County Well-Woman Provider search
Will County Community Health Center
Well-Woman visits are available at our Community Health Center in Joliet, Illinois Call (815) 727-8670 for an appointment.
Transportation Routes and Schedules
988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
The 988 hotline is active for those in crisis and experiencing suicidal thoughts.
United Way 211 Resource Hotline
United Way of Will County will launch the 2-1-1 Helpline – a free, multi-lingual, confidential, 24-hour information and referral service that provides a central access point to health and human services in Will County.
Hotline Pregnancy and Maternal Mental Health
1-833-943-5746 – National Maternal Mental Health Hotline | MCHB (hrsa.gov)