Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7! Get the information you need from AARP’s Medicare resource center.
AARP Illinois, May 4, 2010
With the passage federal health care reform, all eyes are on health care, health insurance, and what it all means for individuals across the country. In Illinois, AARP and coalition members are working together to pass a law that will repeal a health insurance industry practice of denying women health coverage due to a specific preexisting condition: pregnancy.
Woman in Illinois face significant barriers when attempting to purchase health insurance coverage in the private market. Even with all other factors being equal, health insurance companies in Illinois are allowed to charge women more for insurance simply because of their gender.
According to the National Women’s Law Center, less than 1% of insurance plans available to women in Illinois in the individual market include maternity coverage. While women may be able to purchase a “maternity care rider”, these can cost hundreds of additional dollars each month, often with waiting periods of several years before the benefits are actually fully effective.
Women who do not have maternity coverage frequently avoid prenatal care, putting themselves and their pregnancy at risk. Women who do not receive adequate prenatal care are at an increased risk of poor birth outcomes which leads to more costly care during delivery and the post-partum period.
House Bill 6061, sponsored by Representative Sara Feigenholtz, would require all health insurance plans to cover maternity care. The bill would also prevent insurance companies from considering pregnancy a preexisting condition and would eliminate the practice of gender rating which allows women to be charged more for insurance than men.
AARP and our coalition members, including the Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition, encourage you to contact your state legislators and urge their support for House Bill 6061. Being a woman should not be a preexisting condition.
Please leave your comment below.
You must be logged in to leave a comment.
Members can save 35% on registration fees.
This tool helps you identify your pills by color, shape and markings.
Members can take a free confidential hearing test by phone.
AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
Manage your email preferences and tell us which topics interest you so that we can prioritize the information you receive.
Explore all that AARP has to offer.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails
related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly
receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free
to search for ways to make a difference in your community at