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Monday, March 19, 2012

Women charged $1 billion more than men for health care: report

 Women charged $1 billion more than men for health care: report
By Andrew Jones
Monday, March 19, 2012 12:40 EDT 

Woman getting ultrasound photo via Shutterstock
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The National Women’s Law Center released a report Monday morning that found health insurance companies have charged women $1 billion more than men for the same premium coverage, leading to the organization launching a campaign for women to fight against discriminatory practices.
The report, Turning to Fairness: Insurance discrimination against women today and the Affordable Care Act, documented the various ways the health insurance industry treated women unequally in obtaining affordable health care.
Though the practice of gender rating, or charging women more for the same coverage, women are paying a $1 billion more than their male counterparts. States that haven’t banned gender rating have seen women charged more for 92 percent of best-selling health plans.

In most states, non-smoking women are commonly charged more than even smoking men. And even with maternity coverage excluded, nearly a third of plans analyzed found that 25 and 40-year-old women were charged at least 30 percent more or even higher than men for the same coverage.
Despite being aware of those practices, insurance companies have no taken steps to stop the inequality until the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2014.
Those findings have led to the organization creating the “I Will Not Be Denied” campaign to educate women about the ACA and insurance companies’ gender discrimination practices.
“It’s important that women learn how the law corrects insurance discrimination, which costs them hard-earned dollars, and how it is already working for them in many other ways,” said Marcia D. Greenberger, Co-President of the National Women’s Law Center in a press release.
“Thanks to the law, many basic preventive services are now available without a co-pay or deductible, including mammograms, colonoscopies, and Pap tests, and over 20 million women have received at least one such preventive service without paying out of pocket.”

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