Kerry bill would bar health plans from charging women more

Right now, a 25-year-old woman can pay up to 45 percent more than a 25-year-old man for the same health coverage, and a 40-year-old woman can pay up to 48 percent more than a 40-year-old man, according to a 2008 report by the National Women's Law Center. Is this fair? Well, not according to Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), who has filed new legislation attempting to even the playing field somewhat.

Kerry's new bill would stop health plans from charging women more money based on whether they are pregnant, or what type of delivery they choose. His bill focuses in on the 5.7 million women who buy insurance in the individual market, who, unlike those in group plans, are protected only by looser state regulations.

Kerry's "Women's Health Insurance Fairness Act" would bar health plans in the individual market from charging women higher premiums than men, make it illegal to deny or limit coverage based on past or current pregnancy, and require all health policies to offer broad maternity coverage.

To learn more about Kerry's bill:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece (reg. req.)