What exactly is fair, and to whom? Can you close coverage gaps without discriminating?
Here’s something to ponder from Kaiser Health News, a terrific resource for health policy news:
Fight Erupts Over Health Insurance Rates For Businesses With More Women
From Kaiser Health News
The Pennsylvania home health care company Linda Bettinazzi runs is charged about $6,800 per worker for health insurance – $2,000 more than the national average for single coverage. One reason: nearly every one of her 175 employees is a woman.
Insurers say women under the age of 55 cost more to cover because they use more health services, and not just for maternal and infant care. But Bettinazzi, the president and CEO of Visiting Nurse Association of Indiana County, believes there's something inherently wrong in charging her company more because it hires a lot of women.
"There's a great sense of unfairness," Bettinazzi says. "I feel angry, and maybe betrayed would be a good word."
Gender rating is the norm today, part of a complex formula of risk factors – including health history and age -- insurers say has been necessary to fairly price policies. But advocacy groups for women argue that charging more for women than men is discriminatory and should be illegal.
To read more, go here: http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Stories/2009/October/23/gender-discrimination-health-insurance.aspx