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Thank Your Uterus? Women Pay More For Health Insurance

Affordable healthcare should be of particular importance to women this election season, as new insurance-company data dissected in today's New York Times reveals that women pay much more than men of the same age for individual insurance policies providing the same coverage.

When women (who have lost their jobs or do not receive employer-based insurance) shop for an individual plan, they are offered higher premiums than men. Insurance companies explain that this makes total sense because women 19-55 years old cost more, for reasons such as childbirth. However, even women without maternity coverage get charged higher rates. To see why,


Perhaps this is because statistics also show that women visit doctors, take prescription medicine, and suffer chronic illnesses more often than men. These disparities mean women pay hundreds of dollars more each year, sometimes as much as 50 percent more than men.

Federal antidiscrimination law prohibits employers from charging women higher premiums for the same benefits, and congress has begun investigating the discrepancy on the private market. Should a healthy woman have to pay more because other people of her gender go to the doctor more or decide to have children? Should a uterus count as a preexisting condition?


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organicsugr organicsugr 8 years
The woman may very well have to pay for childbirthing costs on her own, as the father may or may not be known.
sw33tlovin sw33tlovin 8 years
i think this is clearly sexist. just another disadvantage to being a woman. i guarantee that if there was a sudden surge of men visiting their doctors instead of dodging them, their premium would still be lower. and the argument made by certain insurance companies "this makes complete sense women cost more, for reasons such as childbirth." what kind of sense is it to charge only the mother for bringing a baby into the world? if i'm not mistaken, it takes two to tango (with certain exceptions), so why is the woman only the one getting charged? the fact is medicine was first catered to men, and im not trying to place blame, i don't blame the entire men gender bc they get better premiums .. lol .. but it's been proven that not as much is known about certain woman disease compared to the diseases that predominantly men suffer from.
girlA girlA 8 years
It's true, Steph...disorders like endometriosis (and many others) are not studied as much as it should be and women end up spending more time in the doctor's office trying to get accurate diagnosis'. It's ridiculous!
organicsugr organicsugr 8 years
The insurance companies should be able to charge you whatever they want, for whatever reason they want.
aprilmayjune4 aprilmayjune4 8 years
Women really can't afford to be sick.
Roarman Roarman 8 years
It's beyond unfair. Men aren't more healthy than women, they just don't go to the doctor until something goes wrong and even then some don't until it becomes dire. And I know there are exceptions to the rule, but as a whole women practice preventitive medicine more than men and they shouldn't be penalize for that.
MarinerMandy MarinerMandy 8 years
This just goes to show how messed up our health care system is. Because of one, minor in my opinion, blip on my health care record it would be very close to impossible for me to find health insurance if I had to get it on my own. But it was something that could potentially indicate a problem, so I get that much more than charging more for a woman even without maternity coverage. Potentially, a married woman who wanted to have children could share the extra cost with her husband. But what about women who are abandoned by the father? My militant feminist lurking inside me just wants to scream about how unfair that is.
stephley stephley 8 years
Women's disorders, or the chronic illnesses we suffer more often then men, aren't studied well either. Men have traditionally been the physical model for studies and I think because of that, it still takes many doctors longer to determine that a woman actually has a physical problem if it doesn't perfectly fit the textbook.
margokhal margokhal 8 years
I know there's a lot of health care services geared towards women, more so than men. Even in general care, once you become sexually active or turn 18, there's those "well woman" checkups where they do the Pap smear and whatnot. I don't know of anything equivalent to that for men. The insurance companies would argue that providing these services costs more, so women should have to pay more in premiums. I'm still on my parent's PPO plan so I can take advantage of the preventative care...but I've *still* had emergencies and the deductibles are insane. :(
verily verily 8 years
My uterus has a pre-existing condition, so I'm already screwed. but yeah, I do visit doctors pretty often because I have no problem with using my really good health insurance when I feel like crap.
yesteryear yesteryear 8 years
excellent points roarman. we do take more consistent medications than men as well - even when we are "healthy" - examples would be birth control and hormones during menopause.
Roarman Roarman 8 years
In the long run though preventitive care costs less than a catastrophic visit to the hospital due to something that could have been prevented due to routine medical care. The focus is all wrong in this country on healthcare, it should be preventing illnesses not treating them as they come. That's where we need to change.
siguros siguros 8 years
Yes, I definitly spend more on my health than my boyfriend. Dermatologist, physicalls, paps.... so much!
juju4 juju4 8 years
Yes, at my firm we had outrageously high premiums. Our brokers explained that even though we had a low level of usage, we had too many women in that 19-55 age bracket. So all of the employees at the company suffered when the company wasn't able to pay as much toward premiums. And the company suffered because we were less competative in hiring great candidates because they would take one look at the employee insurance contribution and decide to accept a job at another firm (usually a larger company that had more negotiating power, or a company that had a higher percentage of male employees).
mondaymoos mondaymoos 8 years
Hallelujah, Roarman.
Roarman Roarman 8 years
It is because women take advantage of preventitive care more often than men, which is what insurance companies say they want the insured to do. But when you do that you are penalized.
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