Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Women Could Pay More Than Men For Health Care Under Trump

Now NPR is reporting on stuff like this, after the election. Before the election it was all about what Trump and other republicans were claiming about Hillary's emails.

So they can have both corporate donations from those like the Koch, and snookered ordinary people who think they are doing such a good job by reporting this.

November 29, 201611:44 AM ET
Michelle Andrews

Some women have been worried that they will lose insurance coverage for contraception under the Trump administration, but coverage for other women's health benefits could also be at risk.

At or near the top of the list is guaranteed coverage of maternity services on the individual insurance market. Before the health law, it was unusual for plans purchased by individuals to cover prenatal care and childbirth. But the Affordable Care Act requires that maternity care be included as one of 10 essential health benefits.

In 2009, the year before the health law passed, just 13 percent of individual plans available to a 30-year-old woman living in a state capital offered maternity benefits, according to an analysis by the National Women's Law Center.

Some plans offered maternity services as an add-on through a special rider that paid a fixed amount, sometimes just a few thousand dollars, the study found. But even with a rider, a woman's financial exposure could be significant: The total payment for a vaginal birth was $18,329 in 2010, according to a study by Truven Health Analytics.

Before Obamacare, women were also generally charged higher rates for health insurance than men on the individual market. According to the law center's analysis, 60 percent of best-selling individual plans in 2009 charged a 40-year-old nonsmoking woman more than a 40-year-old man who smoked, even in plans that didn't include any type of maternity coverage.

That inequity disappeared under the health law, which prohibited insurers from charging women higher rates than men for the same services.


And preventive health services for women could be on the line if the health law is repealed or changed. Some may be easier to get rid of than others, say women's health policy analysts.

Under Obamacare, preventive services recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force have to be covered without copays or deductibles. The task force, an independent panel of medical experts, evaluates the scientific evidence for screenings, medications and services. That currently includes recommendations on screening for breast and cervical cancer and testing for the BRCA 1 and 2 genetic mutations that increase women's risk of breast cancer.


Coverage for contraception and other services endorsed by the Health Resources and Services Administration could be easier to eliminate.


Take coverage for birth control. Some health plans initially interpreted the requirement to cover FDA-approved contraceptives to mean that if they covered birth control pills, for example, they didn't have to cover other hormonal methods of contraception such as the vaginal ring or patch. Federal officials under Obama have declared that insurers couldn't pick and choose; they had to cover all 18 FDA-approved methods of birth control.

"A lot of the pieces of the preventive services benefits that clarify and make the coverage real and strong have been through [federal officials'] guidance, and there is fear that could be changed," Palanker says.

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