It’s a myth the ACA makes men buy coverage for pap tests?

DNC-logo-on_white-sq-250“Myth: Obamacare makes men buy coverage for pregnancy, pap smears, mammograms, and other services that are for women.”

—The Democratic National Committee, January 2014 on its “Your Republican Uncle” website

 

Overview

Your Republican uncle is right.  It’s no myth.

The Facts

Zebra Fact Check continues its series on the Democratic National Committee’s “Your Republican Uncle” website with the DNC’s would-be myth that Obamacare forces men to buy coverage for women that men do not need:

Myth

Obamacare makes men buy coverage for pregnancy, pap smears, mammograms, and other services that are for women.

 

In support, the DNC offers a link to the Los Angeles Times.  The link does not now lead to any information supporting the DNC’s claim.

Analyzing the Rhetoric

We’re highly confident the DNC intended to refer readers to a Nov. 1, 2013 column by Michael Hiltzik, “Yes, men should pay for pregnancy coverage, and here’s why.”  The URL the DNC provided contained the Nov. 1, 2013 date stamp.  We searched for “pregnancy” along with that date and Hiltzik’s column in the Times dominated the top search results.

As the title of the column implies, Hiltzik does not argue that the Affordable Care Act does not force men to pay for aspects of health coverage needed exclusively by women.  Instead, Hiltzik argues it is proper for men to pay for aspects of health coverage needed exclusively by women.  There’s not a word in Hiltzik’s column making the case it’s a myth that men pay for the insurance risks of women.  On the contrary, his column assumes Obamacare makes men buy those medical services and argues it is the right thing to do.

With respect to the point at issue, Hiltzik writes nothing that settles the facts.

Does the ACA make men buy coverage for pregnancy, pap smears, etc.?

Except for grandfathered policies, the ACA does away with the insurance industry’s practice of gender rating.  Gender rating occurs when insurance companies charge one gender more than the other to cover the higher cost of insuring that group.  As we pointed out in a fact check last year of the executive director of EMILY’s List, gender rating resulted in young women paying more for health insurance than young men, but with advanced age men pay more than women.

Summary

Non-grandfathered health insurance plans make men pay for insurance risks exclusive to women, so in this case your Republican uncle is right.  It’s true whether or not one believes gender rating represents improper discrimination.

“Myth: Obamacare makes men buy coverage for pregnancy, pap smears, mammograms, and other services that are for women.”

icon False

It’s not a myth.

 

References

The Democrat’s Guide to Talking Politics with Your Republican Uncle.” Your Republican Uncle. The Democratic National Committee, Jan. 2014. Web. 17 June 2014.

Hiltzik, Michael. “Yes, Men Should Pay for Pregnancy Coverage, and Here’s Why.” Latimes.com. Los Angeles Times, 01 Nov. 2013. Web. 18 June 2014.

Report to Congress on the Impact on Premiums for Individuals and Families with Employer-sponsored Health Insurance from the Guaranteed Issue, Guaranteed Renewal, and Fair Health Insurance Premiums Provisions of the Affordable Care Act.” Cms.gov. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 21 Feb. 2014. Web. 18 June 2014.

Adjusted Community Rating.” United Healthcare. United HealthCare Services, Inc., n.d. Web. 18 June 2014.

White, Bryan W. “Was Being a Woman a Pre-existing Condition before Passage of the ACA?Zebra Fact Check. Zebra Fact Check, 06 Oct. 2013. Web. 18 June 2014.

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