Thursday, October 30, 2008

Health Insurers Discriminate Among Sexes

Yesterday the New York Times reported that new findings reveal a large gender disparity in health insurance costs. The article reports that according to new data from insurance companies and online brokers, women pay much more than men of the same age for individual insurance policies that offer identical coverage. Women still pay more than men for insurance even when their policy doesn't cover maternity costs. Some insurers justify this extra expense by explaining that women tend to visit medical offices more regularly than men.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission prohibits employers from charging higher premiums to women than to men for the same benefits, even if women as a class are more expensive. A handful of states, such Maine, Montana and New York, have also prohibited sex-based rates in the individual insurance market. This page from the EEOC discusses sex-based discrimination as it pertains to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

For more government resources on this topic, see our guide to Health and Medical Information.

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