Healthcare reform to help 30 million women

July 30, 2010 at 2:02 AM

NEW YORK, July 30 (UPI) -- A U.S. non-profit group that analyzed the Affordable Care Act says 30 million women will benefit from healthcare reform.

Karen Davis, president of The Commonwealth Fund in New York, says the law subsidizes health insurance for as many as 15 million currently uninsured women and strengthens existing coverage for 14.5 million women who are underinsured -- coverage that does not protect the insured from high medical expenses.

Insurance carriers consider women, especially those of reproductive age, to be higher risk than men -- and women are charged higher premiums for the same benefits than men of the same age, Davis says.

Other provisions of the law important to women include -- subsidies to purchase insurance, limits to out-of-pocket expenses, and requiring new plans to cover maternity and newborn care.

Another provision of the law is estimated to help 100,000 uninsured women gain coverage through the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan -- temporary coverage for adults with pre-existing conditions who are uninsured during 2010 to 2013.

"Historically, women have been more vulnerable to high healthcare costs and have had greater difficulty paying medical bills because of their lower incomes," Davis says in a statement. "This report provides good news to all women, who will be more likely to get the care they need, with reduced risk of incurring the unaffordable medical bills that have affected so many Americans."

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