When it comes to the modern Healthcare System, it is important to highlight the major role that the Affordable Care Act plays. Also known as Obamacare, this act has been one of the major advancements when it comes to healthcare access for women. Prior to the advent of the Affordable Care Act, about a third of women who tried to buy a health insurance plan on their own were either turned down or charged a higher premium because of their current health or their prior medical history. With the Affordable Care Act, consumer protections were introduced, increasing the ability of women to access healthcare. Therefore, it is important to take a closer look at the Affordable Care Act and how this has changed health insurance for women.
With the Affordable Care Act, Women Are More Equal
While the Affordable Care Act certainly hasn’t fixed everything, prior to Obamacare, women almost always had to pay more than men did for the same insurance policies. Now, the Affordable Care Act prohibits plans in both small group market and individual markets from charging women more for their health insurance simply because of their gender. Furthermore, with the Affordable Care Act, gender discrimination is prohibited in a wide variety of healthcare programs. For example, the Affordable Care Act prohibits all health programs and activities from discriminating against women. Otherwise, they will not receive federal funds.
Women Cannot Be Denied Coverage for Pre-Existing Conditions
In addition, the Affordable Care Act means that women cannot be denied healthcare due to pre-existing conditions. Often, individuals, including both men and women, would be denied healthcare because of their past medical history. Health insurance providers were worried that women with pre-existing conditions were going to cost them money. Therefore, they would simply deny them healthcare. Now, this is no longer allowed.
Women used to be denied health insurance due to outrageous, predatory practices. For example, women who had high blood pressure, were victims of domestic violence, had a history of C-sections, or had a history of breast cancer will be denied coverage. Insurers are prohibited from discriminating against women due to these conditions and cannot impose a lifetime value cap.
Increasing Coverage for Women and Children
One of the biggest switches with the Affordable Care Act is that children can stay on the same policy as their parents until the age of 26. For women who are going to college or graduate school, this is significant. This means that they will not have to pay an insurance premium on their own until they finish school and get their feet underneath them. As a result, they have a chance to finish their education and get a job that will provide them with high-quality health insurance. This is another major way that the Affordable Care Act is reducing the cost of healthcare for women.
The Future of Women’s Healthcare
The Affordable Care Act certainly has not addressed all of the problems when it comes to women, health insurance coverage, and healthcare, it is a major step in the right direction. With maternity services covered, child care services covered, and a variety of other benefits, women have taken one step closer to equality with men when it comes to healthcare thanks to the Affordable Care Act. Now, it is important to make sure the women are educated on their rights when it comes to health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Their rights continue to remain under assault, so it is critical for women to continue to fight for equality.