Recent reports reveal health insurance companies overcharge women each year as much as $1 million more than their male counterparts.
According to the National Women’s Law Center, although maternity coverage is omitted from premiums, virtually a third of plans surveyed charges 25- and 40-year-old women approximately 30 percent more than men for the same coverage and in some cases, the difference are significantly greater.
For example, one company charged a 25-year-old woman 85 percent more than her male counterpart for the same coverage, while still excluding maternity coverage completely. These differences result in women paying significantly more for health insurance.
In another case one company may charge a 40-year-old woman 20 percent more than her male counterpart for the same coverage, while another company can charge another woman of the same age, 50 percent more than her male counterpart. This is commonly known as gender rating.
Gender rating is the practice of charging women higher health insurance premiums than men. While there are only a few states that have limited policy against gender rating, women are excessively charged a greater amount on their premiums because they require health care amenities that men do not, including services such as gynecological visits and maternity care.
However, under the new Affordable Care Act (ACA), which is set to be in effect by 2014, gender rating for health insurance premiums will now be unlawful. Despite the ACA making headway for women, the Kasier Family Foundation reports overall only 35 percent of Americans are aware of the new health care mandate that prohibits insurance companies from charging women higher premiums.
Though most women are not aware of the new mandate, compared to women who are registered republicans, women who are registered democrat, independent or lean towards being a liberal, are 40 percent more aware.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, countless of Americans are in favor of equality among health care with 61 percent of Americans have a positive view on the new provision in the mandate. The number of Americans favoring health care equality increased among women, rising to 69 percent.