Posts Tagged - ‘women’s health insurance’

Post border

Obese Mothers-To-Be Cost Hospitals More

Monday, June 7th, 2010

Image: -mrsraggle- under CC 3.0

The obesity epidemic has resorted in an increasing number of pregnant women who are already overweight prior to becoming pregnant. Although losing weight prior to conceiving is ideal, that is not always possible. Unfortunately, both the baby and mother can experience serious complications, which her health insurance plan must pay for.

As a result, hospitals must spend far more money on delivery for obese mothers. Caring for a premature birth–which is more likely in seriously obese women–helps drive the cost up to $200,000 for that high-risk birth. By contrast, a normal delivery costs about $13,000. The increased expense of labor and specialized supplies is passed on through higher health insurance rates for all women.

Post border
Post border

WellPoint Improves Health Insurance Coverage For Breast Cancer

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Image: wishuponacupcake under CC 3.0

After lots of controversy surrounding their alleged rescission of the policies of breast cancer patients, WellPoint–one of America’s largest health insurance companies–is taking some steps to help patients and rehab their image.

Currently, a federal law is pending that will offer greater consumer protection to these women. However, WellPoint CEO Angela Braly has vowed to implement many of its provisions early, including medical insurance coverage for a voluntary minimum 48-hour hospital stay after a mastectomy.

Whether or not Representative Rosa DeLauro’s Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act passes or falls victim to general anti-healthcare reform sentiment (although its chances look bright–who wants to vote against cancer sufferers during an election year?), WellPoint will take these steps as of July 1st.

Post border
Post border

Sebelius: WellPoint Must Stop Dropping Breast Cancer Patients

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Image: Scootzsx under CC 3.0

An update on an earlier story: the U.S. government has stepped into the controversy surrounding WellPoint, one of the nation’s top health insurance companies.

Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, has demanded that the health insurer quit its practice of dropping policyholders shortly after they are diagnosed with breast cancer. An AP investigation found that their software had algorithms that automatically flagged related diagnostic codes, unfairly targeting them for fraud investigations. Patients were then dropped with very little justification.

Affordable health insurance reform plans to phase out this practice, known as rescission. Sebelius considers WellPoint’s actions deplorable. In their defense, the insurer claims that they do not single out breast cancer; rather, they are searching for a variety of pre-existing conditions a person may have known of and lied about when purchasing coverage.

Post border
Post border

Breast Cancer Patients Dropped From Health Insurance

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Image: Beverly & Pack under CC 3.0

A recent Associated Press investigation found out a sad trend among one of the nation’s major health insurance companies. WellPoint has apparently been targeting patients recently diagnosed with breast cancer in order to cut costs. They have scoured their records to find any possible pretext for dropping women from their policies.

These women did the right thing, and bought a health insurance plan before they became ill. Despite paying their premiums on time each month, the insurer had software that flagged their accounts for an automatic fraud investigation if certain diagnostic codes–such as breast tumors–appeared in their records. Any justification, however inaccurate or minor, was allegedly used as an excuse to cancel their policies. Since breast cancer is very expensive to treat, it can save them millions of dollars in claims.

Hopefully, this practice of rescission will soon be a thing of the past, due to the new healthcare reform law. WellPoint refuses to confirm or deny the allegations because of medical privacy laws.

Post border
Post border

Unmarried and Uninsured Women

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Image: Fred Hsu under CC 3.0

According to a recent study by liberal think tank Center for American Progress, women who aren’t married are more likely to be uninsured. To be exact, 60% of the women lacking affordable health insurance coverage are single.

Why is this the case? There are several reasons. Women are more likely to work lower-paid, minimum-wage, and/or part-time jobs without health benefits. Many married women are insured through their spouse’s employer, an option not open to unmarried women.

Women still make about 78 cents for every dollar a man earns, yet health insurance plans on the open market are more expensive for them. As a result, some women have been forced to go without. Healthcare reform plans to end the practice of gender rating, but that will take awhile.

Post border
Post border

1/3 Of Breast Cancer Cases Are Preventable

Friday, March 26th, 2010

(Image: JOPHIELsmiles under CC 3.0)

Fighting breast cancer is an ordeal that no person should have to go through. The vast majority of sufferers are women. Not only does it take a toll on your physical and mental health, but it is also associated with financial hardship. Although the passage of healthcare reform means that your health insurance can no longer be revoked for developing the disease, it is still something you would like to avoid.

Much breast cancer is genetic or due to general environmental factors, but a new study shows that up to one-third of the diagnoses of breast cancer in America may be preventable. What do the doctors suggest? They believe that avoiding smoking, limiting sun exposure, a healthy diet and regular exercise can help ward off the cancer.

Higher screening rates have helped reduce the incidence of breast cancer (as well as increase survival rates). If you’re a woman, make sure that your individual health insurance policy covers mammograms and regular gynecologist visits.

Post border
Post border

If You Want Abortion Coverage, Pay Two Health Insurance Premiums

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

(Image: internets dairy under CC 3.0)

In some ways, healthcare reform will make buying health insurance plans easier. However, if you’re a woman who chooses to have abortion coverage, it will be more complicated, starting in 2014. You’ll have to write two checks to your health insurance company every month!

Why? It’s a matter of compromise between President Obama and pro-life Democrats, such as Bart Stupak. Federal law forbids any federal funding of the procedure through the Hyde Amendment. Health insurance reform includes federal subsidies that will help lower- and middle-class individuals buy affordable health insurance. Due to the law, that federal money cannot go towards elective abortion coverage.

While the total health insurance premium won’t be significantly higher, it will have to be split in two portions for payment. The predominant portion will be partially subsidized. The smaller portion, which could be as little as $1, will be set aside for abortion benefits. That portion will be solely funded by private money. Pro-choice advocates fear that the complex auditing process required will discourage health plans from covering the procedure, while some pro-life advocates believe the accounting procedures don’t go far enough to prevent federal money from going towards it.

Post border