Insurance must cover everything

Insurance must cover everything

U.S. Rep. John Shimkus recently stated, "A 24-year-old male shouldn't have to pay for maternity and newborn care in his personal insurance coverage. Or a 63-year-old couple shouldn't be forced by the government to have as a part of their health care package maternity and newborn care."

Almost half of the pregnancies in the U.S. every year are unintended (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services; Guttmacher Institute). The 24-year-old could impregnate his girlfriend soon after declining coverage; the 60-somethings could have a college kid still covered by their insurance.

Quoting "National Health Statistics Reports," #55, July 24, 2012: "For every dollar spent on voluntary family planning services to prevent unintended pregnancy, about $4 are saved in short-term costs to the government for medical care for the pregnancy and for one year of infant care." Similarly, paying for prenatal care trims costs for pregnancy and birth complications, as well as infant care.

Ensuring the health of our nation's next generation benefits society. Healthy children learn better, healthy children are more likely to become responsible, productive adults. Probably no one person will need all of the coverage provided by their insurance. I've never broken a bone or had cancer, but my premiums help pay for the treatment of others who do. It's thinking rooted in another age to insist that only women of childbearing age should pay for maternity insurance.

SYLVIA MCDERMOTT

Savoy

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