Alive and well: Sex discrimination in health care

The National Women’s Law Center in January filed administrative complaints against Genworth and three other insurers on the grounds that gender-based premiums for long-term-care insurance violated a provision of the Affordable Care Act that bars sex discrimination in health care.

From New York Times:

The effect is that women will now pay several hundred dollars more a year in long-term-care premiums than a man would for a comparable policy, according to the association’s 2014 report, based on data from insurers. (The new gender-based premiums apply to new policies, not policies that were in place before the change took effect.)

If you are a single 55-year-old man in good health buying a new policy, you can expect to pay $925 a year, on average, for a policy providing $164,000 in current benefits, without any built-in inflation protection. If you are a woman of the same age and health, though, you will pay an average of $1,225 a year for the same policy — a difference of $300, or more than 30 percent.

The difference in premiums is greater if you buy a policy that builds in inflation protection of 3 percent, compounded annually, for your benefits. (Your pool of benefits under this option would grow to $325,000 at age 80.) The same 55-year-old healthy man would pay $1,765 a year for that policy, but a woman would pay $2,307.

A typical single woman will pay an average of 12 percent more than in 2013, the association found.