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Gender Rating in Long-Term Health Plans Prompts Formal Complaints

Gender Rating in Long-Term Health Plans Prompts Formal Complaints

January 22, 2014 — The National Women's Law Center has filed complaints against four of the country's largest insurers and various states, alleging that the companies' long-term health care plans discriminate against female beneficiaries, Louisville Business First reports.

The complaints name four insurers -- Genworth Financial, John Hancock, Transamerica and Mutual of Omaha -- and states that have partnered with them to provide long-term care coverage through their Medicaid programs.

According to the complaints, the insurers plan to start "gender rating" their long-term care policies, which would allow them to charge women 20% to 40% more than men for the same coverage.

NWLC argues that the move violates a provision of the Affordable Care Act (PL 111-148) that prohibits insurers from discriminating on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, age, disability, gender identity and sex stereotypes.

NWLC Comments

NWLC Co-President Marcia Greenberger said in a statement, "Requiring women to pay higher prices just because they are women is wrong, unfair and, thanks to the [ACA], is now illegal sex discrimination."

She urged the Office of Civil Rights "to investigate these complaints and ensure that women are not overcharged in the long-term care insurance market" (Lammers, Louisville Business First, 1/17).