There Are Only Upsides
"Being a woman is no longer a pre-existing condition" it begins. Oh-kay. We are told that insurance companies have traditionally discriminated against women by charging them different rates. "Until now, it has been perfectly legal in most states for companies selling individual health policies — for people who do not have group coverage through employers — to engage in “gender rating,” that is, charging women more than men for the same coverage, even for policies that do not include maternity care."
Kind of like how they charge different rates for life and auto insurance based on sex - but that's never mentioned - I mean not mentioned at all - because in those cases men are charged more, and so it's irrelevant.
This discrimination knows (or knew - the beatific new law forbids it) no bounds. "The rationale was that women used the health care system more than men. But some companies charged women who did not smoke more than men who did, even though smokers have more risks." My goodness those insurers are a wacky bunch - willfully eating extra claim expense covering male smokers cheaply just to give women a hard time. Although I'm a bit confused because later in the article we're assured that "insurance companies were masters at protecting their bottom line" - funny that they'd go to such trouble to overcharge women without any basis.
Of course "gender pricing" isn't the only mode of discrimination - individual insurers often do not offer maternity coverage - or if they did they might charge more for it. Not anymore! "It has to be a part of the premium just like heart attacks, prostate cancer or any other condition" that men willingly acquire at very high frequencies in their 20's and 30's.
And speaking of men, will they now have to pay more for insurance? We're never told that answer - but nothing Ms. Grady has written would lead me to believe that she doesn't expect women to now pay the same as men, without either's premiums being raised.
A prominent source of outrage in the article is the tale of a woman who was denied a policy because she had had a previous Caesaren delivery and the insurer, obviously concerned about having to be on the hook for another, declined her. The insurer explained that had she been "sterilized" they'd have approved the policy. Ah, that word "sterilized" - of such unfortunate word usage are major policy decisions born in this rational land of ours. How these costs are going to be covered in the individual market is again not even remotely discussed - it's like the loaves and fishes.
I exaggerated a bit when I implied there are no downsides mentioned. The main source for this "analysis", one Marcia D. Greenberger, the founder and co-president of the National Women’s Law Center, was quick to note that all is not peaches and cream. "Despite her enthusiasm for many aspects of the new law, Ms. Greenberger said she was profoundly disappointed in provisions that she thought would limit women’s access to abortion services." Well at least she provided a balanced view.