1. Women will no longer be denied insurance coverage for gender-related reasons. In today’s insurance market, it is common for insurers to refuse to cover women because of gender-based “pre-existing conditions,” such as having had a Cesarean section or being the victim of domestic violence or sexual assault.
2. Women will no longer be charged more for their insurance coverage just for being women. Under a practice known as “gender rating,” insurers currently charge women higher premiums—up to 150 percent more—than men for identical health benefits.
3. Maternity care will be required in new insurance plans. Coverage for maternity care—health care that only women need—is routinely excluded in the individual insurance market.
4. Women will be guaranteed coverage of preventive services with no cost sharing. More than 50 percent of women have delayed seeking medical care due to cost, but insurers are now required to cover recommended preventive services such as mammograms without cost sharing.
5. Women will gain better access to affordable health insurance. Starting in 2014 women and their families, as well as small businesses, will receive tax credits on an income-based sliding scale to help purchase insurance coverage.