Campaign Launched to Eliminate Gender Inequities in Health Coverage
Resource type: News
The National Women’s Law Center and PHI are Atlantic grantees.
The National Women’s Law Center has kicked off a campaign to educate women about gender inequities in health care coverage.
“Being a Woman is Not a Pre-Existing Condition” was launched on October 20 to mobilize women to tell their Congress members that health reform legislation must eradicate the disparities women face in health insurance coverage.
A centerpiece of the national campaign is a report called Still Nowhere to Turn: Insurance Companies Treat Women Like a Pre-Existing Condition (pdf). The report highlights the facts about gender discrimination in private health care coverage. For example:
- Ninety-five percent of the most popular health insurance plans charge women more than men for the same individual coverage;
- In every state but Montana, insurance companies can charge businesses with 50+ employees more for group coverage of their female employees;
- Women age 25 are charged up to 84 percent more than 25-year-old men for individual plans, even when these plans exclude maternity coverage; and
- More than 60 percent of the best-selling plans charge 40-year-old female non-smokers more than male smokers of the same age.
“Long-term care employers cannot find affordable health coverage policies for their employees — an overwhelming majority whom are women,” said Steven Dawson, PHI president. “That’s one key factor that contributes to direct-care workers being less likely than other American workers to have employer-sponsored coverage.”
Only about half of direct-care workers have employer-sponsored health insurance. Nearly one-third of all direct-care workers in the United States lack health coverage.
Other elements of the National Women’s Law Center’s campaign include advertising, a video, events, and a website with information and tools to help women contact their Congress members.