How the Supreme Court Ruling Improves Maternity Coverage

Starting in 2014, access to maternity care will be greatly improved through a market reform that prohibits exclusion of coverage for preexisting conditions or other discrimination based on health status. This protection applies to group and individual health insurance policies (Section 2704). In the past, uninsured pregnant women have largely been ineligible to purchase private insurance or, if they could purchase insurance during their pregnancies, the coverage generally did not include maternity care for the present pregnancy. More recently, some insurers have deemed women who had a previous cesarean birth to be ineligible for maternity care coverage (6), and there are anecdotes of similar practices, such as excluding coverage of pelvic floor problems among women who have had an episiotomy. Such practices will be illegal in 2014.

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