Judy Waxman, National Women’s Law Center

National Women's Law Center
Here are some things we don’t think you should be punished for:

  • Having a chronic disease.
  • Taking care of an elderly parent.
  • Living in a neighborhood where exercising outdoors isn’t safe.

Seems obvious, right? But a loophole in the health care law could do just that.
We need your help to close a loophole in the health care law that could punish low-income women and women with chronic diseases. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently released proposed rules on the health care law’s wellness program that would increase premiums and out-of-pocket costs for individuals who do not or cannot participate in certain wellness activities, such as an exercise program. Help us make sure that employer-sponsored wellness programs don’t penalize women and their families.
Programs that increase premiums or out-of-pocket costs for individuals who do not participate in employer-run wellness programs could cause women who hold more than one job, who have childcare or eldercare responsibilities, or health conditions that restrict their ability to participate in program activities to pay more for health coverage or health care. And they ignore other economic and environmental barriers to improving health for low-income women and the fact that women who are pregnant or breast feeding might be medically-advised against participating in certain activities, such as a weight-loss program.
You have less than a week to make your voice heard! The IRS is only taking comments about its proposed rules on the health care law’s wellness program until July 2. That’s why we need you to make your voice heard today.
Going to the gym and eating healthy foods are good goals but easier for some than others. If your neighborhood grocery store doesn’t have fresh vegetables, you have children or elderly family to care for, or your community doesn’t have an affordable gym or sidewalks for you to walk and run on— it may be nearly impossible to be part of a program that requires you to participate to keep your health insurance premiums or out of pocket costs affordable.
Take action now.
Thank you for all you do for women and families.

Judy Waxman Judy Waxman Vice President for Health and Reproductive Rights National Women’s Law Center