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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Fabulously Feminist News

Health Insurers May Stop Charging Women More Than Men

By Jacob Goldstein

Women tend to pay higher premiums than men for health insurance. Insurers have argued this is because women tend to have higher health costs, particularly during the child-bearing years.

But as the feds scrutinize health care, that disparity has come under the spotlight; earlier this week, Massachusetts Dem John Kerry introduced a bill that would prohibit insurers from charging women more than men.

And testifying in the Senate yesterday, Karen Ignani, the president of the big trade group for health insurers, said she doesn’t think gender should factor into women’s rates when buying individual policies, the WSJ’s Washwire reports.

According to the New York Times, Kerry told Ignani that the “disparity between women and men in the individual insurance market is just plain wrong, and it has to change.” Ignani agreed the disparities “should be eliminated.”

This is the latest turn in the industry’s effort to play ball in Washington. The strategy seems to be this: Make concessions — like this one — but push hard against the proposal, popular among many Democrats, to introduce a government-backed insurance plan to compete against private plans.

From the Wall Street Journel

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