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Affordable Care Act (ACA)

The March for Life Decision: A Real Head-Scratcher

On Monday, a federal district court judge issued a decision in March for Life, a case brought by a non-profit organization challenging the ACA’s birth control benefit. In that decision, the judge said that if some employees insist they don’t want a health insurance plan that includes birth control coverage, then the employer doesn’t have to cover birth control for any employee. Despite the fact that other employees have a right under federal law to birth control coverage and may need it to protect against unplanned pregnancy or for other health reasons, apparently, that right can be ignored. This outrageous decision could open up a can of worms.

What the Court Got Wrong Read more »

Connecticut Ends Discriminatory Limit on Infertility Coverage

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. Read more »

Wheaton College Decides Student Health Isn't Important

Wheaton College does its best to win the race to the bottom when it comes to women’s health. Read more »

Same Sex Marriage To Do List: Check Health Insurance Options

When you’re planning a wedding, the to do lists just keep growing. You need a location. You need a caterer. A florist. An officiant. A health insurance assistor. A photographer. You need to pick out invitations, trim down the invitation list, pick the best health coverage option, choose a menu.

Wait, what was that about health insurance and health coverage? Read more »

The Real Lives at Risk in the Supreme Court's Health Care Decision

After all the politics have been debated and the newspapers recycled, the bottom line is that the Supreme Court’s decision in King v. Burwell means that millions of women will be able to keep their affordable health coverage.

And that saves lives.

LaDonna Appelbaum is one of those lives. Read more »

I Know All About The ACA’s Breastfeeding Benefit, and I Couldn’t Get Services Covered

Last week, the National Women’s Law Center issued the third report in a series examining insurance plan compliance with the Affordable Care Act, State of Breastfeeding Coverage: Health Plan Violations of the Affordable Care Act. Previous reports on women’s health coverage and birth control coverage found extensive violations of the law. The third report examines insurance plan noncompliance with the ACA’s breastfeeding benefits and comes to similar conclusions.

The ACA Is a Huge Step Forward

The ACA made dramatic improvements in women’s health coverage. The ACA ensures that health insurance companies can no longer discriminate against women, and requires plans to offer women coverage for maternity care and prescription drugs. And they must cover preventive services, such as breastfeeding supports and supplies and birth control, without any copayments, deductibles or coinsurance.

Health Insurance Plans Must Comply With the Law Read more »

Covered Through a Parent's Plan? Your Prenatal Services are Covered

The Obama Administration gave expectant moms a belated mother’s day gift. Guidance issued yesterday clarifies that new insurance plans must cover preventive prenatal services without cost sharing for all dependents — including expectant mothers enrolled on a parent’s plan. This is great news for expectant mothers who discover once they are pregnant that they don’t have maternity coverage under their parent’s plan.

What New Plans Must Cover Read more »

Health Insurance Companies Leave Women Without Critical Coverage

Yesterday, the National Women’s Law Center issued an extensive report on insurance issuers’ compliance with Affordable Care Act requirements for women’s health coverage. We found violations in health plans offered in all 15 states in our study — which tells us that women covered by other issuers, and in other states, are probably also being denied coverage for the critical women’s health services guaranteed by the law.

The ACA made dramatic improvements in women’s health coverage by ensuring that health insurance companies can no longer discriminate against women, and requiring plans to offer women coverage for critical health services like maternity care, birth control and prescription drugs. But these guarantees ring hollow when insurance issuers are able to offer coverage that violates these requirements. Read more »

Birth Control Without Costs: It's The Law

Here at NWLC, we are big fans of the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit because it removes cost barriers to birth control and has the potential to change women’s lives. Which is why the findings in our report, “State of Birth Control Coverage: Health Plan Violations of the Affordable Care Act,” are so troubling. While most women are getting coverage of birth control without out-of-pocket costs like the law requires, some insurance companies are not complying with the law. Some insurance companies charge women for their birth control, do not cover it at all, charge for services associated with the birth control, or place unallowable limits on the coverage. When we uncover these violations of the law, we know that women aren’t able to access their birth control method because of the cost barrier. Read more »

The Affordable Care Act — Latest Data is a Good News Story

Is it working? In the health care context, you might ask this about a prescription drug, a chemotherapy regimen, or a rehabilitation plan. But we don’t really need to ask that any longer about the Affordable Care Act. According to the latest Gallup-Healthways survey, the uninsured rate among American adults has fallen to 11.9 percent — a drop of more than 5 percentage points since the end of 2013, which was right before coverage began through the ACA’s health care Marketplaces.

While it is exciting enough to see the uninsured rate for American adults fall by nearly one-third, it is even more exciting to see that the groups most likely to lack insurance — low-income Americans, Latinos, young adults and African Americans — have seen the most change under the law. The good folks at Gallup-Healthways haven’t broken down their data by gender, but we do know that 54 percent of Marketplace enrollees are women — which tells us that many of the individuals with new coverage are likely to be women. Read more »