Report Shows Health Plan Exclusions Leave Gaps in Women’s Care

Report Shows Health Plan Exclusions Leave Gaps in Women’s Care
Since enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), many more women have health insurance in part because this law prohibits insurer practices that discriminate. However, gaps in women’s health coverage persist, with insurers often excluding health services that women are likely to need, leaving them vulnerable to higher costs and denied claims that threaten their economic security and physical health. Because of ACA rules, insurers can no longer deny coverage or charge higher premiums because of gender or current or prior health conditions. All individual plans must cover essential health benefits that include maternity services, birth control, mammograms and other preventive care, and mental health services. A new study by the National Women's Law Center found that hidden in the fine print of many health plans is language that allows them to reject coverage of some services, many of which affect women’s healthcare. The report, “Women's Health Coverage Since the ACA: Improvements for Most, But Insurer Exclusions Put Many at Risk,” was published by the Commonwealth Fund. It's uncertain the magnitude to which these coverage "exclusions" have banned patients from getting the treatments they needed. An insurance industry representative said patients usually get the care they need if it's the right treatment for them. However, some women with inherited ovarian and breast cancer may have care gaps because
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