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Connecticut Ends Discriminatory Limit on Infertility Coverage

Posted by Dania Palanker, Senior Counsel | Posted on: August 14, 2015 at 01:51 pm

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, insurance plans offered in Connecticut will no longer discriminate against women and men over 40.

Connecticut is 1 of 15 states that require health insurance plans to cover some infertility services. While the Connecticut law expanded women’s access to infertility services, it also allowed issuers to limit infertility coverage to women under age 40. As we detailed in our State of Women’s Coverage report released earlier this year, five issuers offering plans in 2015 through the state’s health insurance marketplace, Access Health CT, discriminate based on age by limiting infertility coverage to women under age 40. According to data by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, over 23 percent of assisted reproductive technology services [PDF] used by women are used by women over age 40.

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Happy 80th Birthday, Social Security

Posted by Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security | Posted on: August 14, 2015 at 09:11 am

It was eighty years ago today that President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act. But it’s more than its age that makes Social Security an American classic.

  • We built it—and it represents our shared values. Generation after generation, working Americans have contributed to create our Social Security system—to provide income and security for themselves, their families, and their neighbors when they need it.
  • We built it to last. Through wars, recessions, and natural disasters, Social Security has delivered the benefits workers have earned for themselves and their families—on time and in full.
  • We made Social Security better. President Roosevelt himself said that the law he signed “represents a cornerstone in a structure which is being built but which is by no means complete.” We’ve added protections for spouses, surviving spouses, divorced spouses, and children; for workers with disabilities and their families; extended coverage to more workers; provided automatic cost-of-living adjustments; and eliminated sex discrimination in the award of benefits.
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Doctors Can Continue to Practice Modern Medicine After Court Ruling

Posted by Rachel Easter, Fellow | Posted on: August 12, 2015 at 04:04 pm

Yesterday, a state court issued a fantastic decision protecting women’s health. And no, it wasn’t in California or Washington. It was in Oklahoma!

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The New Proposed Overtime Rule, Explained by the Golden Girls

Posted by Katherine Protil, Intern | Posted on: August 11, 2015 at 09:05 am

In May, the Department of Labor proposed a new rule that would update how overtime pay works. If the rule becomes permanent, it would be a great thing for hardworking families across the country.

Overtime is simple, right? If you work more than 40 hours a week, you get time-and-a-half for those extra hours. Employers are incentivized not to overwork their employees, employees can pick up a few hours if they need to make some extra money, and things work out for everyone. What could go wrong?

But as it turns out, there’s a large group of employees who aren’t entitled to overtime pay. Employees with annual salaries over a certain threshold, who work in managerial or professional jobs, don’t have to be paid for their extra hours. In theory, this is fine—managers and other professionals might work more hours, but if they get paid enough, it all evens out.

Unfortunately, that’s not quite the case.

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Menstruation Stigma Has Got to Go. Period.

Posted by Katie Hegarty, Online Outreach Associate | Posted on: August 11, 2015 at 08:37 am

An unexpected cultural debate was revived by the first Presidential debate of the 2016 election cycle. When Donald Trump didn’t like the way moderator Megyn Kelly framed her questions, Trump said she had “blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.” By now most of us have heard the explanation that he meant her nose. Obviously.

What the public has understood the comment to really mean is that Kelly’s behavior was a result of her menstruating — an occurrence that, despite its mundanity, is still tied to stereotypes of surging hormones and emotional instability in people (not just women) who menstruate.

It feels a little maddening to be having this conversation in 2015, but this particular stereotype is just that strong. Let’s state for the record: even if Kelly had been menstruating, attributing any behavior to that fact would still be an attempt to use a woman’s own body to discredit her. Can you imagine ignoring a man’s comments at work because he had, I don’t know, athlete’s foot? Or you could see his five o’clock shadow coming in? But more importantly, stigma around menstruation is a serious threat to girls and women around the world. We can’t afford to further that threat by giving these myths a national profile.

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Sadness, Frustration, and Hope After Michael Brown's Death

Posted by Fatima Goss Graves, Senior Vice President for Program | Posted on: August 10, 2015 at 01:56 pm

Michael Brown lost his life one year ago and we will never be the same. In fact, I know that we will be better. But when I think about the last year, I am filled with many competing emotions.

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Reproductive Justice for Latinas Demands Medicaid Expansion

Posted by Rachel Easter, Fellow | Posted on: August 07, 2015 at 03:08 pm

Too often women are forced to choose between getting a mammogram and paying rent, birth control or groceries, taking their child to the doctor or making a car payment. Reproductive justice demands that all people have the economic means, social capital, and political power to make and exercise decisions about their own health, family, and future. Reproductive justice means no woman is forced to make such impossible decisions. Unfortunately, that is not the reality for the millions of Latinas that lack health insurance coverage. Many of these women make too little to qualify for assistance purchasing health insurance in the state marketplace but do not qualify for Medicaid, so they are left without coverage. The solution is simple: states need to expand Medicaid. 

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The New $10 Bill: Women's Historical Renaissance

Posted by Alicia Gurrieri, Program Assistant | Posted on: August 07, 2015 at 02:57 pm

US Treasurer Rosie Rios held a round table discussion at the Sewall-Belmont House yesterday to receive design input on the new $10 bill. Before the discussion started, I figured I knew what was ahead of me: debates over which singular woman in history deserves to represent all of woman’s accomplishments. In actuality, I was surprised, inspired, and felt extremely hopeful about what a new $10 bill could actually do for women’s historic accomplishments.

Women Behind the Money

I never paid much attention to the aesthetics of bills, probably because my joy of actually having money outweighed my appreciation of the details. But, as Rosie Rios explained yesterday, the details on our currency tell a story. She explained how the notes released in 2003 shared the theme of ‘freedom’ with a different symbolic representation embedded in each note, much like how the notes in 2020 will share the theme of democracy.

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