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Health Care

Taken Away in Handcuffs for Going to the Doctor

Earlier this month, Bianca Borrego, an immigrant woman living in Texas went to the gynecologist for a routine appointment. After waiting for two hours, Ms. Borrego was escorted to an exam room where she was met, not by a doctor, but by Harris County deputies. Ms. Borrego was put in handcuffs and then marched through the waiting room where her children still sat.

Ms. Borrego, who entered the country 12 years ago and over stayed her visa, is currently in the Harris County jail. According to her daughter, the deputies told her that she would likely be deported.  The clinic staff apparently called law enforcement because they suspected that her identification was fake. Not only is this a potential violation of patient privacy, such tactics create mistrust between medical providers and their patients. 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 »

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 »

New Guidance is a Step Forward for Transgender Health

Caitlyn Jenner is rightly being celebrated for choosing to live her life on her own terms. But, as Laverne Cox noted on her Tumblr, “Most trans folks don’t have the privileges Caitlyn and I have now have. Read more »

Religious Refusal Laws Threaten Access to Health Care

This post is cross-posted from AIDS United

In 2011, Joao Simoes, a gay HIV positive man was denied HIV medication by a doctor who, according to Simoes, stated, “This is what he gets for going against God’s will.” Unfortunately, Simoes’s experience was far from unique. Almost 20% of HIV-positive individuals report being denied health care.

Refusals to provide care can threaten not only an individual’s health but public health as well by contributing to the spread of HIV. Perhaps as important, a refusal, or the fear of being refused care, can lead people living with HIV to distrust health care workers. This fear can discourage people from disclosing personal information that might be essential to their care and lead people to avoid the health care system all together or to delay getting necessary care. 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 »

SCOTUS and Medicaid: Another Threat to Women’s Health Care

In a 5-4 ruling yesterday, the Supreme Court decided that health care providers cannot sue state Medicaid programs to enforce federal Medicaid law. In Armstrong v. Exceptional Child, Medicaid providers for individuals with developmental disabilities had sued Idaho over payment rates that, they argued, violated requirements in the Medicaid statute that require states to pay participating providers rates that ensure patients’ access to services. Read more »

Happy Fifth Birthday, ACA!

Can you believe it? The ACA is already five years old. It seems like just yesterday we were celebrating the law’s passage. Today, we can celebrate the law’s continued success.

It’s clear the law is working. Because of the ACA, women are protected from discriminatory health insurance practices, health coverage is more affordable and easier to obtain, and women have better access to many of the health services they need. Read more »

House and Senate Budgets Threaten Women’s Health

Earlier this week, the House released a proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2016 (FY2016) which would leave millions of women and their families without the financial security of high quality health insurance, unable to access the health care services they need, and facing dramatic increases in their healthcare costs. To learn more about the details of House budget proposal, our analysis is available here

Late yesterday, the Senate released their counterpart [PDF] to the House budget. The strategy is the same: repeal the Affordable Care Act and cut Medicare and Medicaid. The results would be the same, too: millions of women left without access to affordable health coverage and the care they need.

Specifically, the Senate budget proposes: Read more »