Under the affordable Care Act, Coverage may not be obtained outside of the annual enrollment period (AEP) unless one experiences a “Life” or Qualifying event such as marriage, losing employer sponsored group coverage, relocation outside of one’s health service area or giving birth.
Last March 11th of 2015, the two Senators asked Covered California to include pregnant women in the list of qualifying life events through a letter to the Director himself. The two Senators cited in their letter CDC’s statement that prenatal care is the key to avoiding pregnancy-related complications and death. The two Senators also gave examples of how babies who received prenatal care are healthier than those who did not.
The letter that the senators sent to Covered California would potentially allow pregnant women to avail an insurance that will protect her and her baby until delivery. This includes check-ups and tests that will reduce risks and future heath cost
In response to the letter of the two Senators, Nicole Evans, in behalf of the California Association of Health Plans, explained that granting the request would require driving insurance costs up for all. Evans continues by adding that “The goal is for all Americans to have coverage and if we start to provide exceptions for people to wait to get coverage until they have a need, you could be undermining the goals of the Affordable Care Act,”. This argument is something many Covered California insurance agent share.
The issue, however, is not yet closed, and is open for further discussions. If ever the request of Senators Feinstein and Boxer is implemented, then pregnant women will be able to approach their local Covered California agent, such as those from Good and Associates Insurance Services, to avail the services that they need.
This issue throws a question of whether quality should supersede quantity. Should companies raise the cost of their insurance to be able to expand their offered services, or should they think first of getting more people insured first, at the cost of limiting their services?
Health insurance agencies are vital to the overall welfare of the country. More and more people are availing insurances every year, due to the governments and NGO’s combined effort of informing the public of its need. The number of people who are availing health insurances would no doubt only increase in the coming years.
Feinstein and Boxer join push to let pregnant women buy health coverage anytime, SCPR.org, March 12, 2015
Senators Urge Approval of Late Health Care Enrollment for Pregnant Women, Dianne Feinstein, March 11 2015