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Gonzaga changes health-insurance policy for pregnant women after complaints

The National Women’s Law Center filed complaints towards Gonzaga and three different establishments that obtain federal funding in June 2013, claiming they violated the Affordable Care Act by refusing to offer prenatal care to some women.

Gonzaga University has modified its health-insurance policy after a nonprofit regulation agency alleged the varsity was illegally denying maternity care to dependents of staff.

The Washington, D.C.-based National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) filed complaints towards Gonzaga and three different establishments that obtain federal funding in June 2013, claiming they violated the Affordable Care Act by refusing to offer prenatal care to some women. The regulation agency stated Thursday that every establishment has modified its policy in response to the complaints.

“Pregnancy coverage is an essential insurance benefit for women, and to omit it from coverage is sex discrimination, pure and simple,” the NWLC stated. “The Affordable Care Act makes sex discrimination in health-insurance coverage illegal.”

The Office for Civil Rights, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, closed its investigations into the complaints Jan. 19, the final full day of President Obama’s presidency.

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Gonzaga spokesman Pete Tormey stated in an e mail that the college has by no means violated the Affordable Care Act, and that it voluntarily started providing maternity care for staff’ dependents in January 2014.

“The university continues to provide this coverage and works diligently to ensure its benefits plans are in compliance with all relevant state and federal regulations and requirements,” he wrote.

According to the NWLC, the complaints additionally prompted policy changes inside Pennsylvania’s higher-education system, which incorporates 14 public universities; the Battelle Memorial Institute, based mostly in Columbus, Ohio; and Alabama’s Auburn University. The changes have an effect on pregnant women beneath the age of 26 who rely upon staff of these establishments for health insurance coverage.

“The young women on these plans can now rest assured that they can access necessary prenatal care and deliver a baby without bankrupting their family,” the NWLC stated. “With all the talk of repealing the Affordable Care Act, it’s critical to remember how much the law has done to eliminate unfair insurance practices and protect the health, lives and economic security of women across the country.”


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