Gaps in Women’s Health Coverage Persist

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A new study from the Commonwealth Fund and National Women’s Law Center highlighted gaps in women’s health coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

According to an issue brief, gaps in women’s health coverage persist since the enactment of the ACA, with insurers often excluding health services that women are likely to need. The authors analyzed qualified health plans from 109 insurers across 16 states for 2014, 2015 or both years.

Findings show six types of services are frequently excluded from insurance coverage, including:
treatment of conditions resulting from non-covered services

  • Maintenance therapy
  • Genetic testing
  • Feteal reduction surgery
  • Treatment of self-inflicted conditions
  • Preventive services not covered by law

“Policy change recommendations include prohibiting variations within states’ “essential health benefits” benchmark plans and requiring transparency and simplified language in plan documents,” the report notes.

The brief urges regulators and insurers to take concrete steps to eliminate exclusions that disproportionately affect women, improve transparency in plan documents and ensure women can obtain the coverage and care they need.

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