Thursday, October 30, 2008

Price Discrimination in Health Insurance

According to the "New York Times," women pay higher health insurance premiums than men. The article, titled "Women Buying Health Policies Pay a Penalty," explains the reasons, but convolutes the issue for political reasons, shocking, I know.

In general, women pay more for health insurance because they tend to consume more health services. Seems pretty simple, right? Just like a life insurance is cheaper for somebody who doesn't skydive. Would you feel better if you had more energy? Try FRS® Healthy Energy™ Free*!

However, and this is where you should get nervous, "Women’s advocacy groups have raised concerns about the differences, and members of Congress have begun to question the justification for them."

I will save these groups and members of Congress the trouble by explaining this issue with data from the article itself.

"In general, insurers say, they charge women more than men of the same age because claims experience shows that women use more health care services. They are more likely to visit doctors, to get regular checkups, to take prescription medications and to have certain chronic illnesses." Pretty simple, right?

How about this:

Thomas T. Noland Jr., a senior vice president of Humana, said: “Premiums for our individual health insurance plans reflect claims experience — the use of medical services — which varies by gender and age. Females use more medical services than males, and this difference is most pronounced in young adults.” Again, women are consuming more health services. Cheap? No. 100% Free. Trade stocks for free on The Free Trading Community.

Again, for the advocacy groups who claim insurance should cost the same, in the name of equality, "Mr. Bykerk, a former executive vice president of Mutual of Omaha, said, “If maternity care is included as a benefit, it drives up rates for everybody, making the whole policy less affordable.”

So there you have it. Disparities in the cost of health insurance for women are based on usage. It seems like this is just another contrived issue for big government types to get there hooks into the best health care system in the world. These are same government types that brought you the TSA. Think about that!

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Anonymous said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


WRGII said...

Sarah, thank you for your kind remarks. Please continue to read and feel free to suggest topics.

Allow me to point you to another column I wrote about health titled "Use that Vacation" on my blog about management topics. It can be found here:

Anonymous said...

I learn today that because I am A WOMAN, I have to paid 200 dollars MORE/ Months compare to the Male employee- That's right 200 Dollars more because I am a woman!! Is that fair?? The plan include only 1 visit to the gynecologist !! Wish I can do something about it!! but no because I am a woman!

Anonymous said...

I'm curious: why didn't this article mention that males pay more for car insurance? It didn't matter that at 19 years old I was a bus driver who had been trained in defensive driving and had undergone much more training than most females my age. No, my insurance rates wwere based on what might happen. But the author did not address this discrimination. How convenient.

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