Gender gap continues to play an important role in health insurance premiums

Women in Insurance IndustryAccording to the latest research issued in a report by the research and advocacy group, the National Women’s Law Center, women continue to pay higher premiums than men for the same health coverage.

In 2014, when the new healthcare laws are fully implemented, the discrepancy between what men and women will pay for health insurance will cease, but at the moment, many states continue to see significant gaps between the premiums of men and women without any indication that the insurers intend to shrink them.

The report will become available later in the week, and it shows that within the states where there is no ban on using gender to establish premiums, over 90 percent of the most popular health plans charge a higher amount to women than to men.

Florida’s deputy insurance commissioner from 2007 to 2011, Mary Beth Senkewicz confirmed the statement in the report by saying that it aligned with her own observations. She said that there continues to be a gap between the genders and that if insurance companies would voluntarily start to decrease that gap, then they will reduce the overall impact that will be felt when the 2014 regulations go into place (at which time it is expected that many men younger than 55 will see an increase in their premiums).

At the same time, Senkewicz did state that she completely understands the insurer’s perspective that “This is a business decision. Insurers may not want to raise rates for men because they might lose some customers.”

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