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More reaction to Supreme Court's health-care decision: Are women the big winners?

In an earlier entry, I referenced a list of the "winners" and "losers" created by today's historic Supreme Court decision. But, as Forbes contributor Bryce Covert argues, there's another group that should feel particularly victorious: women. In her piece, she discusses why the ruling is so good for women's health and pocketbooks:

Women are big financial winners in this decision... The first is the elimination of gender rating, or charging women more because they’re women, pure and simple. The National Women’s Law Center recently found that in states that haven’t banned the practice, over 90% of the best selling plans charge women more than men, even though only 3% of them cover maternity services. In fact, even when maternity care is excluded, almost a third of plans charge women at least 30% more than men for the same coverage. One plan even charges 25-year-old women 85% more than men. All told, the practice costs women about $1 billion a year.


Women also have a long history of being denied care because of preexisting conditions, including some dubious so-called “conditions.” Think that pregnancy is a normal course of life? Insurance companies have been known to treat women who seek coverage when they’re pregnant as if they have a preexisting condition. Even women who gave birth through previous Caesarean section – about a third of all births – are thought to have a “condition.” Think the victims of sexual abuse and assault have enough to deal with as it is? Add to their burdens the denial of coverage because receiving treatment related to that abuse has been considered a preexisting condition. Now that the [Affordable Care Act] is free to stand, that practice will no longer be tolerated, either.

Previously: Supreme Court mostly upholds Affordable Care Act, WaPo asks: “What does the Supreme Court’s health-care ruling mean for me?”, A look at the federal mandate to cover contraceptives, New law mandates that California insurance companies cover maternity care and More to reform
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