One of the most common questions surrounding health insurance under the Affordable Care Act is whether there are certain circumstances or conditions that might prohibit a person from being able to get the health insurance he or she needs. There are numerous ways that women benefit from new coverage requirements under the new law, and maternity care is one of those benefits.
In the individual insurance market prior to the Affordable Care Act, maternity care was routinely excluded for one reason or another. Before the Affordable Care Act went into place, just over 10 % of plans provided access to these services. Even where it was offered, it was frequently considered inadequate as a result of extremely high deductibles (many of which may have cost as much as the total amount of a birth, for example) or waiting pools. Following the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act, however, more than 8.5 million women will have gained access to maternity care through small group and individual plans.
Remember that under this same law, no individual can be denied coverage as a result of a pre-existing condition, either. One such example of a “condition” that result in denial of coverage in the past related to pregnancy was a history of Caesarean sections. Under the new regulations and rules, many more women will gain access to not just maternity care but preventive services. Women will have the peace of mind that regardless of any past conditions or concerns, they are eligible for healthcare coverage through the marketplace.
Another barrier that has been broken through the enactment of the Affordable Care Act is that women will gain more control over their healthcare. Being able to choose a primary care physician and any pediatrician for children is a major benefit, but referrals to see an obstetrician/gynecologist are no longer mandated, either.
Not only are women who are pregnant eligible to receive coverage under the new law, but new regulations have made it much easier to get critical care needed for themselves and for their children. Gaining access to affordable and quality healthcare will likely have far-reaching implications for women and their families across the country. Shopping in the healthcare market provides an array of cost-effective plans with critical coverage for women who are already pregnant or for women who plan to become pregnant in the future.