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Bill Banning Gender Pricing in Health Insurance Advances in Sacramento

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The California Assembly has approved a bill that would prevent insurers from charging women more than men for health coverage. Insurance companies warn the measure could drive up costs for everyone.

Transcript

— The California Assembly has approved a bill that would prevent insurers from charging women more than men for health coverage. Insurance companies warn the measure could drive up costs for everyone.

Group health insurance plans aren't allowed to charge women more than men. That prohibition does not apply to policies sold on the individual market.

One study shows California insurers charge women up to 26 percent more than men for health coverage. That's sometimes the case even with policies that don't include maternity benefits.

Insurance companies argue women should be charged more, because they tend to use more healthcare services. Insurers also say eliminating gender pricing differences could raise premiums across the board.

Critics say gender discrimination is illegal in employment and housing, and it should be in health insurance, as well.

The bill to ban the practice now moves onto the state senate.

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