Today, Congressman Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) introduced the Ensuring Women's Access to Free-Market Healthcare Act of 2012.
This legislation seeks to give women access to High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs) and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) without the financial burden associated with becoming pregnant while on one of those plans. The legislation accomplishes this goal by allowing first-dollar coverage for prenatal and postnatal care. This bill is not a mandate but instead enables insurance companies to develop plan options to allow women to participate in free-market health care.
"Women often make the health care decision for their families. Yet, many young women are currently unable to take advantage of low-cost health care plans because of the high costs associated with starting a family. The Ensuring Women's Access to Free-Market Healthcare Act of 2012 will increase women's access to reasonably priced Health Savings Accounts by allowing first-dollar coverage for all routine prenatal care, delivery, and postpartum procedures," said Congressman Cassidy.
He continued, "with safeguards in place, women will be more at liberty to choose health plans that are right for their current situation without fear of being penalized should a pregnancy occur. This will allow women to be more secure in their decision to choose market-based health plans that will lower both personal costs and overall health care costs. This will be good for their health and good for their pocket book."