Possible Repeal of ACA has Unique Consequences for Women

July 19th, 2019

Possible Repeal of ACA has Unique Consequences for Women

(BISMARCK, ND) – The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has ensured that millions of women can receive vital prenatal care, life-saving cancer screenings, and prescription medication. The Administration has taken various actions that put the well being of women on the line. Two such actions include executive actions that have increased the accessibility of “junk plans,” and the 2018 repeal of the individual mandate.

According to the Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation, More than 67 million females across the country have a pre-existing condition. Prior to the ACA, pregnancy, and cancer, were considered pre-existing conditions and reason to deny women coverage. If the ACA is overturned they are in danger of being charged more or being denied insurance altogether.

The Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation also states that Medicaid covered 17% of women under age 65 in 2017. Previously, to qualify for Medicaid, household income had to be very low and the beneficiary had to be either disabled, pregnant, mother to a minor, or over age 65. Women who did not fall under those categories would fail to qualify, no matter how low their income was. The ACA allowed states to remove these requirements.

In August 2018 the Administration finalized a rule for short-term limited-duration plans. Short-term plans are not required to cover services like maternity care, prescription medication, and mental health disorder services that all marketplace plans included. Repealing the individual mandate combined with permitting prolonged use of these junk plans translates to a lower percentage of healthy individuals purchasing marketplace plans. This will raise prices for women who purchase marketplace insurance because they need or want the benefits and protections that ACA plans provide.

Actions that our North Dakota delegation and Republicans in the state Legislature have taken restrict access to important services such as maternity care and birth control for women across the country. Women rely on comprehensive and cost-effective healthcare to keep themselves and their families healthy. If the court ultimately does strike down the entire ACA, the effects would be immediate and devastating for women. But that is not stopping the Administration from pushing forward with the lawsuit. Women would face higher health care costs, greater financial vulnerability, and the prospect of losing coverage altogether.