Pregnancy Problems with Individual Market Health Insurance

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An unfortunate reality regarding our current U.S. healthcare system is that a number of women are unable to afford health insurance.

In addition, since many are not eligible for coverage through their employers, they are forced to purchase health insurance in the individual market. As a result, women who are in their reproductive years are often faced with higher premiums because they are not protected by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978. But, what exactly is this act and how does it help women who have employer-sponsored health insurance coverage?

In short, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 was established in order to ensure women are allowed time off to bond with their children after giving birth.

Under the act, employers are bound to provide pregnant women with the following:

  • Insurance coverage
  • Leave pay
  • Any other support that would typically be given to an employee on disability or medical leave

Since individual market health insurance policies are not bound by these laws, however, they can raise the premiums on pregnant women or even cancel their policies. This is one reason many are calling for significant healthcare reform in the United States.

Visit our library to learn more about women and the US healthcare system.

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