Un-numbing our healthcare sensibilities

Wednesday, February 18, 2015
By Margo Page

Right before ObamaCare went into effect, I called multiple insurance companies to inquire about their plans and premiums. I was asked a few random questions off the bat, and they took me on my word that I didn’t smoke or drive a motorcycle. The plan I was interested in was $70/month. Then the sales person told me “oh sorry, actually you are a woman so it would be $90/month”. Excuse me? She explained that I may become pregnant. I was completely abstinent and told her so. She said that it didn’t matter. So they can take me on my word that I don’t smoke, but they won’t take me on my word that I don’t have sex? She said well there is the possibility of rape. So I am paying more in case I am raped? That’s disgusting. But putting their inhumanity aside for a moment, what about second hand smoke? These plans were clearly not governed by anyone for ethics or logic. This gender-based price difference resulted in millions of women choosing plans that were not as good as ones they could have afforded if they were men.

Every man has an equal chance of contributing to a pregnancy as a woman does. So, shouldn’t men also contribute financially to our collective health insurance money pile? The man’s name won’t be written on the prenatal care medical bill, but inherently it exists behind every mother’s name. Planned or unplanned, a man always bears an equal legal weight in conceiving a child. So shouldn’t he also need to pay into the insurance for prenatal care? Why should a woman need to pay twenty dollars more a month or more in case she becomes pregnant, whereas the man pays zero dollars more a month in case he impregnates? What affect does this have on our society? Women get plans with less coverage and fewer benefits than they could have gotten for the same price as a man. And the women are the ones physically carrying the babies, so this results in a negative affect on prenatal care. What kind of society does this to their future generation? On an ethical level it’s wrong, and from a societal stand-point it’s stupid.

Insurance companies are no longer able to deny coverage to women based on pregnancy, c-sections, or previous domestic violence. They are also no longer able to charge women more for the same plan (“gender rating”) for new plans. However, don’t let insurance companies grandfather you into plans that don’t cover policies required under ObamaCare. Even if it doesn’t affect your premium, please don’t support it. As a society, and as humans with consciences, we can’t afford to charge women more for the same health plans. It takes two people to make a baby, and prenatal care should be derived equally from men’s and women’s insurance premiums. Please continue to support positive moves forward in women’s healthcare. Please help people you know stay in touch with their consciences when discussing healthcare.




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