Pregnancy is uniquely important to all of us. Every Bay Stater must have access to the full spectrum of pregnancy related care so that we all can decide if, when, and how to have a family or raise children. But exorbitant out of pocket health care costs can put essential pregnancy-related care out of reach to those who need it, harming patients, families, and women.
These costs can put people in an impossible position: either scrape together enough money that they may not have, go into medical debt, or not seek out basic health care. Cost should never prevent people from accessing care, especially in a state with such high-quality care.
This is an issue of gender and racial equality. Our health care system was not created with women or pregnant people in mind, and institutional racism in the provision of health care harms communities of color. We must reimagine our health care system to center and support the needs of women, pregnant people, families, and Black and Brown communities by making all pregnancy care more accessible.
- Massachusetts is already combatting an epidemic of racial inequities in maternal health. Black women in Massachusetts are twice as likely as white women to die from pregnancy-related complications.
- Black and Brown communities need greater access to the full spectrum of pregnancy care now more than ever. We cannot allow high out of pocket costs to undermine our efforts to protect Black and Brown women, families, and pregnant people.
- The cost of pregnancy related care is largely the reason why women between the ages of 19 and 44 spend 62 percent more per capita on health care costs than their male counterparts.
An Act Ensuring Access to Full Spectrum Pregnancy Care would reform our state laws to ensure that women and families aren’t saddled with insurmountable debt post-pregnancy, enabling them to have greater control over their lives and financial futures by:
- Creating a health care system that is more gender-equitable. One that doesn’t punish people for their ability to become pregnant, their decision to raise a family, or their decision to end a pregnancy.
- Requiring all Massachusetts regulated plans to cover pregnancy-related care, including abortion care, prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, etc., without any cost-sharing.
Pregnancy impacts all of us – we all exist as a result of pregnancy – and we cannot allow cost to push related health care out of reach. The high costs of pregnancy care forces many people to ration care while pregnant, forgo prenatal, postpartum, or abortion care, or avoid becoming pregnant altogether.
We should be the ones dictating our reproductive lives and futures, not our deductibles. All health insurance plans must cover the full spectrum of pregnancy-related care without any cost-sharing or co-pays. Urge your lawmakers to support this legislation.