Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Pregnant Women and unfair Health Insurance Policies

I never knew women were being charged higher premiums or limited or even denial of health insurance coverage depending on whether they are pregnant or not until I read this.

As per the National Women’s Law Center a September 2008 report it has been found out that insurance companies can reject applications for reasons affecting women i.e. pregnancy, its hard for women to find out health insurance which takes care of their maternity needs and women have to pay higher premiums as compared to men for identical coverage.

For these very reasons Senator John F. Kerry came up with a bill that would prevent insurers from charging higher premiums from women or deny or limit coverage depending on whether they are pregnant or not.

Women’s Health Insurance Fairness Act has been summarized below for you:

Prevent insurers in the individual market from charging women higher premiums than men;

Prevent insurers in the individual market from denying or limiting coverage based on a current or past pregnancy or past or future method of delivery (such as a Cesarean section);

Require all insurance policies offered on the individual market to provide comprehensive maternity coverage for the full scope of maternity services from preconception through postpartum;

Provide the Secretary of Health and Human Services with the authority to monitor compliance with the requirements of this Act and assess fines of at least $10,000 against any health insurance company that fails to submit the required data; and

Direct the Government Accountability Office to issue a report by December 31, 2010 about problems remaining for women on the individual insurance market in all 50 states and DC following enactment of this Act.

This legislation has got the support of American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), Children’s Defense Fund, Consumers Union, Families USA, National Partnership for Women & Families, OWL - The Voice of Midlife and Older Women, and the Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health (PRCH).

Seems women will not be discriminated from now on!!

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