Wednesday, August 26, 2009

On Women’s Equality Day, Unfortunately Not Everything is Equal

Today marks the 89th Anniversary of women finally getting the right to vote. Unfortunately, after 89 years not everything is equal.

When it comes to health care women still face many barriers.

In the individual insurance market, many states allow insurance companies to calculate premiums based on characteristics such as existing health problems, age, and gender. In particular, women are often charged higher premiums than men during their reproductive years. For example, holding other factors constant, a 22-year-old woman can be charged one and a half times the premium rate of a 22-year-old man.

Beyond cost, the coverage in the individual market is woefully inadequate. A recent survey by the National Women’s Law Center found that the vast majority of individual market health insurance policies did not cover maternity care. Some insurance companies even consider pregnancy a pre-existing condition and therefore will not provide coverage for a woman who is pregnant.

Take Action!
Urge your members of Congress to support legislation that provides Americans with access to quality, affordable health care that is equitable to women.

For more information, visit American Association of University Women's new health care issue page and read their new health care position paper.

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