A number of news articles and social media posts claim that pregnancy, sexual assault and domestic violence could be considered “pre-existing conditions” that make it hard to keep insurance coverage under the Republican health care bill. Are those alarming claims really true?
The bill doesn’t specifically refer to any of these things, and some of the headlines suggesting that it does are misleading.
But the bill would allow insurers, in limited circumstances, to charge people more if they have a pre-existing condition — a health issue that existed before the patient’s coverage starts, if that person has had a lapse in insurance.
Under the current health care law — the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare — insurers are not allowed to charge more or deny coverage for pre-existing conditions. The GOP health plan the passed the House Thursday — called the American Health Care Act (AHCA) — would allow states to seek a waiver from that rule. It would fund a system of “high-risk pools” to offer assistance to patients instead, but many are concerned that won’t be enough.
Twitter is overflowing with lists of pre-existing conditions, patient testimonials and personal stories of health struggles with the hashtag #IAmAPreexistingCondition. People living with a host of medical conditions are worried about the future of their coverage if the Republican plan becomes law.
Concern has focused in particular on women’s health issues, and especially pregnancy. Claims that rape victims could lose their coverage have also stirred outrage. Here’s a fact check: