Women Pay $1 Billion More Than Men For Health Insurance Annually

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Women pay $1 billion more for health insurance than men, finds a new report from the National Women’s Law centre.Blames it on “gender rating,” a practice that lets insurers charge women more for coverage.

The centre said it even applies to women who have debatably good health compared to some of their male counterparts.

More than 56 per cent of best-selling plans will charge a non-smoking woman more than a man who smokes, the centre found.

For their part, insurers have argued women pay more because they use more health services, reports the New York Times’ Robert Pear. (Via eHealthInsurance.com).

However, Marcia D. Greenberger, president of the Law centre, told Pear says that’s unlikely: “In Arkansas, for example, one health plan charges 25-year-old women 81 per cent more than men, while a similar plan in the same state charges women only 10 per cent more.”

The good news is all states will be required to abandon gender rating once the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented in 2014. So far, the new health law has helped women who needed access to basic services like mammograms and colonoscopies without having to pay out of pocket.

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