All pregnant women deserve access to insurance coverage
The Affordable Care Act has made historic gains in women’s access to health care coverage, but it has a major loophole that’s denying insurance to some pregnant women. Unfortunately, the Department of Health and Human Services has decided not to fix it.
People can’t sign up for coverage outside the three-month open enrollment period unless they experience a “qualifying life event.” While childbirth is included as one of the “events,” pregnancy is not, leaving women who become pregnant while uninsured unable to immediately obtain coverage.
Luckily, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell has the authority to add pregnancy to the list of qualifying life events.
Ask Secretary Burwell to act today to make sure pregnant women can access insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
Prenatal care is critical for the health of women and newborns. But making pregnancy a qualifying life event is not popular with insurance companies, because they don’t want women to wait until they become pregnant to enroll.
With 50% of pregnancies unplanned, and prenatal care and delivery costing more than $20,000 dollars without health coverage, women need to be able to access health care the moment they find out they’re pregnant.1
Our friends at Young Invincibles have been working hard to highlight this gap in coverage and to pressure Secretary Burwell to make this important change. Ninety-one members of Congress have already joined them. *The more of us who speak out, the better the chance that Secretary Burwell will act. *
Urge Secretary Burwell to make pregnancy a qualifying life event. Sign the petition today.
Thanks for standing up for women’s health.
“Without Maternity Coverage,” Christina Postolowski, Young Invincibles, 12/2014.