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California May Outlaw Gender Pricing for Health Insurance

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Shuman Roy is an entrepreneur, business owner, and musician. He started RoysNoys, LLC in 2013 as a music production and education service company. He also offers small business consulting and advisory services to help businesses get from start-up mode to turn-key operations. Shuman earned his M.B.A from the Stern School of Business in 2001...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency...

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Reviewed byJoel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020

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Unknown to many, women are often charged more for health insurance than men, as they generally use more health care services in a given year.

However, the gap in usage versus price seems to be a bit out of whack, with the average 30-year self-employed woman paying as much as $420 more for individual health care coverage than a man.

As a result, some women may be deterred to purchase health insurance, as the costs are simply too high.

This so-called gender gap, also known as a “gender rating,” has been the subject of recent legislation in the Golden State, which is centered on outlawing the controversial and perhaps outdated practice.

Both Assembly Bill 119 and California Senate bill 54 have recently been approved, and are now set to go back to the Assembly for consideration.

However, the worry is that a lack of gender pricing will just raise health insurance premiums across the board to make up for the perceived loss of revenue.

Insurance companies have also appealed for mandatory health insurance for the uninsured as a compromise, though that seems like a stretch.

The legislation doesn’t apply to group health insurance plans, which are prohibited from charging women more than men.

The health insurance gender rating is currently permitted in 40 states throughout the nation.

Related: Car insurance is cheaper for women because they tend to get into fewer accidents, though that rule is unlikely to change anytime soon.

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