6 Things We Should Demand From Healthcare Coverage
The Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA, a.k.a. Obamacare), while imperfect, was a boon for women's healthcare coverage. "Many people don't realize that it's because of the ACA that they can get mammograms or well checkups at no cost," says Alina Salganicoff, director of women's health policy at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. "The ACA stopped insurers from charging women higher premiums on the individual market or denying them coverage."
Of course, change is now afoot. Yet healthcare should be a nonpartisan issue. That's why we need to let decision-makers know that no matter what new or revamped health plan they support, there are certain demands from which we cannot back down.
1. Must Have: Coverage without consideration for genderBefore the ACA, insurers in some states could reject previously uninsured women for having preexisting health "conditions," including a current pregnancy, a previous C-section, and—unbelievably—treatment for rape and a history of domestic abuse.
Even without so-called preexisting issues, women got a raw deal. A 2012 study by the National Women's Law Center in Washington, D.C., found that nearly one-third of individual insurance plans charged women at least 30 percent more than men for coverage—"even when their plans didn't include maternity coverage," says NWLC's Gretchen Borchelt.
Liberation from discriminatory insurance policies isn't just good for our physical health; it helps us get ahead. "When women know they can afford a quality individual plan, they are no longer locked into a job just for the insurance. They're freer to go back to school or start their own business," says Borchelt.