by Chris Turner
Seven years ago, I was drugged and raped while on a business trip. I'm lucky to be alive.
I'm also a health insurance agent. And when I needed new insurance, I knew how hard it would be to get coverage after I'd been treated for my assault. I'd needed counseling and preventative anti-HIV medications for my survival. The insurance companies didn't care what I'd needed. To them, being treated for rape qualified as a "pre-existing condition."
But the only coverage I could find would have cost almost as much as my monthly rent. So for three years, I was uninsured. I paid for my counseling, my antidepressants, and all my day-to-day health needs out of pocket. It wasn't easy, and the fact that I didn’t have coverage was like a big, dark secret hanging over me.
Now, I’m speaking out about my experiences. I’m a part of SOAR® — Speaking Out About Rape — and I shared my story on Capitol Hill this week for the launch of NWLC’s Being A Woman Is Not A Pre-Existing Condition campaign. I hope my story will make a difference for other women like me.
Congress is considering the biggest reforms to our nation's health system in decades. We have an opportunity to make sure those reforms meet the needs of women.
I'm not a pre-existing condition. No woman is. Tell Congress to pass health care reform that works for women.