San Francisco Targets State Laws on ‘Gender Rating’ Health Premiums
In a letter, San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera has informed Attorney General Jerry Brown (D) that the city will sue the state if the Legislature does not repeal state laws permitting so called "gender rating" that translates to higher health insurance premiums for women, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Two laws -- one passed in 1991 and the other in 2005 -- permit health insurers to take into account a member's gender when determining premiums for individual health insurance policies.
Herrera argues that the practice results in women going without insurance and relying on public services funded by San Francisco for health care.
Robert Zirkelbach, a spokesperson for the trade group America's Health Insurance Plans, said that the practice is rooted in the fact that women generally file more insurance claims than men earlier in life, adding that gender rating leads to higher premiums for men later in life.Ten states have banned gender rating, and two other states have restricted it (Allday, San Francisco Chronicle, 12/31/08). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.