Solano County

Yamada: Women shouldn’t pay more for long-term care insurance

By From page A6 | January 29, 2014

FAIRFIELD — A bill that would prohibit charging women higher rates than men for long-term care insurance has been introduced by state Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada.

Yamada, D-Davis, said that her measure will protect all women.

“Gender discrimination has broad public policy implications,” Yamada said in a press release. “Women earn less than men in their lifetime and accumulate less wealth, so charging women more for the same policies is neither a fair nor effective solution to covering the industry’s costs. Pricing based on life expectancy sets an extremely dangerous precedent.”

She said that because women generally live longer than men, they depend on long-term care benefits more and often reduce men’s dependence on such insurance by serving as their caregivers.

The assemblywoman said the federal Affordable Care Act prohibits insurers from charging women higher premiums for health insurance policies, but long-term care in California is classified as disability insurance and not bound by that law.

Bonnie Burns, with California Health Advocates, said in the release that, “women have always had a hard time figuring out how to pay for long-term care insurance from their lower incomes and resources. Gender discrimination will force even more women out of the market, shifting the cost of their care to their families and the state’s Medicaid program.”

Montana and Colorado have already acted to prohibit gender-based pricing for such insurance, Yamada said.

Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or [email protected]

Ryan McCarthy


Discussion | 2 comments

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  • Mr. PracticalJanuary 29, 2014 - 6:07 am

    "Pricing based on life expectancy sets an extremely dangerous precedent.” How else would you price long-term care? Is the next bill that life insurance cannot be based on life expectancy? The end result will be less carriers offering coverage in California and higher rates due to less competition.

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  • The MisterJanuary 29, 2014 - 6:49 am

    I agree with Mr. Practical. From a headline story out today; I've found out where women doing the same job as men are getting paid less... in Obama's Whitehouse. There, female staffers are paid 87 cents for every dollar a male staffer earns. Perhaps Ms Yamada should begin an investigation into this.

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