As discussed in a recent blog post, it at one time was legal in nine states and the District of Columbia for insurers to count surviving domestic violence as a pre-existing condition. The good news is that one of those states, Arkansas, has banned this practice and passed legislation ensuring that domestic violence survivors cannot be denied coverage based on that status. The bad new is that eight states and DC continue to discriminate against applicants who are survivors of domestic violence.
Health care reform is necessary to ensure that everyone has access to and the ability to purchase quality health care. For individuals who have survived domestic violence in those states and areas that permit insurers to discriminate against them, people are either going without necessary care or paying too much for coverage. People should not be penalized for seeking care, which is exactly what happens when insurance companies are able to deny coverage or charge more for pre-existing conditions.