KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Women Suffering From Postpartum Depression May Face High Rates From Insurers

Recent guidance suggests all pregnant women and new mothers should be screened for depression, but what wasn't addressed is that life and disability insurers penalize women with these mental conditions, often lumping them in with people who have been diagnosed with general depression.

The New York Times: An Insurance Penalty From Postpartum Depression
In January, a government-appointed panel recommended that all pregnant women and new mothers be screened for depression. Public health advocates rejoiced, as did untold numbers of women who had not known that maternal mental illness even existed before it hit them like a freight train.But the panel did not mention one possible consequence of a diagnosis: Life and disability insurance providers have sometimes penalized women with these mental illnesses by charging them more money, excluding mental illness from coverage or declining to cover them at all. And it’s perfectly legal. (Lieber, 2/26)

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