We have all heard poignant stories about the many people across the country and around the world suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder. It can be a crippling condition, which can lead to a plethora of other problems, from generalized anxiety to depression to suicide. PTSD is a disorder affecting many Americans, and rates of PTSD have increased over the past several years due to US involvement in wars overseas. Many of our soldiers return home presenting with symptoms of this extraordinarily complicated and frequently debilitating disorder.
Really, it’s everyone’s issue: The health care crisis in this country affects all of us, even those fortunate enough to have coverage. But when it comes to health care and dealing with insurance companies, there are special concerns for women, especially if they are buying insurance through the individual market. Some of those concerns vary by state, making them all the more confusing, and unfortunately, a lot of women are unaware of these issues until they run into difficulties. Federal laws provide certain protections for women who receive insurance through their employers, but women purchasing insurance through the individual market face unique problems. They face institutionalized sexism in the form of higher costs, shoddy plans riddled through with gender-based exceptions, and denial of coverage based on a “preexisting condition” that may surprise some of you.