Attention Congressmen: Being A Woman Is NOT A Pre-Existing Condition
Take a moment to review some of the horrifying statistics below from around the country in order to better understand the current state of women's health care in America. Armed with these facts, you'll see why it is essential that we pass a health care reform bill that improves women's access to affordable care and addresses their unique medical needs.
- Holding other factors constant, a 22-year-old woman can be charged up to one and a half times the premium of a 22-year-old man.
- 1/3 of under-insured women deplete their savings to pay medical bills, versus 1/4 of all men.
- 37% of women who have insurance reported having problems with their bills in the last year, versus only 29% of men.
Pregnancy and maternity care:
- A woman can expect to pay $7,000 out of pocket for an uncomplicated pregnancy with vaginal delivery if she has a small-employer high-deductible plan. If she has a complicated pregnancy with a C-section delivery, she can expect to pay $14,000 under the same plan.
- Only 14 states require comprehensive maternity care in the individual market.
- The average America woman spends 5 years being pregnant, recovering from pregnancy or trying to get pregnant. She also spends 30 years trying to avoid unintended pregnancy.
- Explaining why one insurance company doesn't cover pregnancy, its spokesman said: "The point of insurance is to insure against catastrophic care costs. That's what you're trying to aggregate and pool for such things as heart attacks and cancer. Having a child is a matter of choice. Dealing with an adult onset illness, such as diabetes, heart disease, breast or prostate cancer, is not a matter of choice."
- 8 states and the District of Columbia allow insurers to deny coverage to victims of domestic violence because they have a pre-existing condition.
- Many insurers also consider pregnancy and Cesarean sections a pre-existing condition.
- Even though white women have the highest incidence rate for breast cancer of any racial or ethnic group, black women have the highest breast cancer mortality rate, which is linked in part to lack of access to quality health care.
- Hispanic women are twice as likely to have cervical cancer than white women and black women are twice as likely to die from the disease.
- One out of three Black women has no health insurance.
- In California, Hispanic women make up 50% of the uninsured female population.
- 64 million women in America do not have adequate health insurance coverage.
- 52% of women reported trouble accessing needed health care because of cost, versus only 39% of men.
- 26% of young women in America (aged 19 - 24) have no health coverage.
- 25% of non-elderly women receive health insurance coverage as a dependent on a family member's plan, versus just 13% of men.
- 27% of employed women work part time and are thus excluded from their employers' health insurance plan, versus only 13% of men.
Get in Line for Gender EqualityWomen want equal coverage for the equal premiums they pay - plain and simple. Take your ticket for gender equity.
Then post the number, along with this automatically-generated status update on gender equity in health care to Twitter, Facebook, or in emails to friends:
I'm [your number] against discrimination by health insurers. Women deserve equal coverage for equal premiums. http://seiu.org/ticket #fem2 #hc09
Let's educate male members of Congress on how women are unfairly discriminated against by health insurers. Call toll-free at 1-866-311-3405. Use this form to report back on your conversation.