Insurance companies have historically charged women higher insurance premiums for heath insurance.
As a result, Senator John Kerry has introduced the "The Women's Health Insurance Fairness Act". The act will improve health care benefits for women in the individual market by preventing insurers from charging them more, denying or limiting coverage based on their pregnancy status or delivery method, and ensuring comprehensive maternity coverage.
Sen. John Kerry said "The disparity between women and men in the individual insurance market is just plain wrong and it has to change.With Mother's Day around the corner, there's no better gift to American women than discrimination-free, affordable and accessible insurance that meets their health needs."
The Women's Health Insurance Fairness Act:
Will prevent insurers in the individual market from charging women higher premiums than men
Prevent insurers in the individual market from denying or limiting coverage based on a current or past pregnancy or past or future method of delivery (such as a Cesarean section)
The act will require all insurance policies offered on the individual market to provide comprehensive maternity coverage for the full scope of maternity services from preconception through postpartum
Provide the Secretary of Health and Human Services with the authority to monitor compliance with the requirements of this Act and assess fines of at least $10,000 against any health insurance company that fails to submit the required data
Direct the Government Accountability Office to issue a report by December 31, 2010 about problems remaining for women on the individual insurance market in all 50 states and DC following enactment of this Act.
This legislation is also supported by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), Children's Defense Fund, Consumers Union, Families USA, National Partnership for Women & Families, OWL - The Voice of Midlife and Older Women, and the Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health (PRCH).