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Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Non-Profits Win and Women Lose in the 8th Circuit

Last week, the 8th Circuit Court dared to be different. It decided to look at what all the other circuit courts are doing and run the other direction. The problem is individuality makes for great fashion choices, not great legal reasoning. The 8th Circuit issued a decision in one of the many cases challenging the accommodation in the birth control coverage benefit. And the result denies women health care protections that have been safeguarded in every other circuit court decision in this line of cases. Now, some religiously-affiliated employers have the ability to take important health care decisions out of their employees’ hands.

The Court’s Decision Read more »

The ACA is Working. We Have Data.

In 2009, as the United States Congress began to shape the legislation that became the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), 14.5 percent of women and girls lacked health insurance. Women between the ages of 18 and 64 were even more likely to be uninsured, with more than 19 percent of these working-age women going without health coverage. And women of color fared even worse – for example, 38 percent of working-age Latinas were uninsured.

But what a difference five years can make! Or more specifically, what a difference the passage and implementation of landmark legislation can make. Read more »

Behind the Numbers: Health Insurance

On September 16th, the Census Bureau will release new data on poverty, income, and health insurance in the United States in 2014. As a preview to this red-hot data, we outline what we expect to learn about health insurance — including the first year of Affordable Care Act (ACA) implementation.

Where does this data come from?

Once a year, the Census Bureau includes additional questions on health coverage and income within their monthly Current Population Survey. This supplement is known as the Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC). The ASEC questions regarding health insurance explore whether each member of the respondent household had insurance coverage throughout the previous calendar year, and if so, what kind of coverage. According to the Census Bureau, the ASEC is the most widely used source of data on health insurance coverage in the U.S. Read more »

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 »