By Sam Baker - 06/04/13 02:27 PM EDT
“Pregnancy coverage is an essential insurance benefit for women,” NWLC co-President Marcia Greenberger said in a statement. “Our message to every institution providing health insurance in the country is that treating pregnancy differently, including by omitting it from health insurance coverage, is sex discrimination pure and simple and as such violates the law.”
The NWLC filed complaints against five employers: Battelle Memorial Institute, in Columbus, Ohio; Beacon Health System, in South Bend, Ind.; Auburn University; Gonzaga University; and the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.
Federal law did not provide full protection from sex discrimination against sex discrimination in healthcare until the Affordable Care Act passed, the NWLC said. The law expressly prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex by any entity that receives federal funding.
That prohibition requires plans to cover gynecological and maternity care, the group said.