May 15, 2009

Fixing the Gender Gap in Health Care Costs


I am lucky enough to still be covered under my parents insurance as a full time college student. Out of curiosity I went online to check out insurance rates for men and women with the same criteria as me. Insurance rates for women were up to 141% higher then for men. Due to the high costs about 38% of all women opt to not purchase health insurance.

Upon continuing my search for health care rates I discovered it was cheaper for a 30 year old male smoker to buy health insurance then a 20 year old female non-smoker. To me it makes no sense how a younger, healthier female could possibly be charged more for insurance.
According to the US Department of Health & Human Services, a 22 year old woman can be charged up to 1.5 times the premium for a male peer in the individual insurance market. More than half the women surveyed by HHS reported delaying care because of cost.


This week we celebrate National Women's Health Week. Unfortunately there are many flaws with current women’s health care such as high cost for women. We need to focus on and prevent discrimination that women face when purchasing health care. Women should not be charged higher rates for insurance simply because they have a reproductive system.

In California, legislators are at least proposing to do something about this gender bias in health care, and both the house and senate are considering bills to ban charging people different rates based on gender

But more needs to be done to prevent this discrimination to women from being continued.
Go to http://www.healthcareforamericanow.org/ to join the fight for equity in health care.

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