No sex for women, says my insurance company

A simple pregnancy test is not covered.

Photo by Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition on Unsplash

I could crash a motorbike drunk.

I could break a collarbone play fighting.

I could twist an ankle climbing.

I could even hurt my arm jumping off a balcony to escape the police who came to close down a party.

In any of these cases, my medical expenses would be covered. I know this because these situations have happened to friends of mine with similar travel health coverage, and they all had their expenses paid. Two of them even got free accommodation and food until they were fit to fly home.

So you can imagine my surprise when I send my bills off to my company to get reimbursed, and they email a reply saying that pregnancy tests are not covered by insurance. It’s a weird email, firstly, because they begin by congratulating me (never, ever congratulate a person after taking a pregnancy test. Whatever the outcome, not everyone will be happy). Then they tell me that travel health insurance can’t cover exceptional procedures but only the most basic.

So apparently, sex, a broken condom and a period a week late are quite extraordinary circumstances.

Apparently, having a normal sex life is not included in basic medical care for a woman.

This isn’t only the case for my health insurance — which is a bit different as it is a travel package, covering medical expenses during my time living abroad. Many insurance plans don’t cover prenatal or maternity fees.

This is pure sexism.

Having sex is a normal part of women’s lives, and not covering a pregnancy test in a basic insurance package is the same as not covering a twisted ankle walking down the street.

It is treating a common accident as an extraordinary medical procedure. It is yet again, denying women their sexuality and putting the sole onus of reproductive responsibility on their shoulders.

It’s treating women as other when a simple pregnancy falls under the realm of extraordinary procedure.

Because, of course, if it happened to a cis-man, it would be rather extraordinary, and insurance, like so many things in life, is made for cis-men.

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