Raising Women’s Voices

Current Events, Insurance, and Women’s Health

Posted in Uncategorized by raisingwomensvoices on October 9, 2008

“The recent economic downturn has left more people worried about losing their jobs, and for the 54% of our population relying on employer-sponsored insurance (ESI), losing a job also means losing health insurance.

Some of those who lose ESI will be able to pay their full premiums, including the share formerly handled by their employers, and extend their coverage for up to 18 months under COBRA. (According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average annual premium in 2008 for is $4,704 for individuals and $12,680 for families – not easy amounts to come up with if your paychecks have stopped.)

Others will try to buy insurance on the individual market – but as a new report from the National Women’s Law Center shows, that’s a difficult task, especially for women.

Nowhere to Turn: How the Individual Health Insurance Fails Women is based on NWLC’s analysis of information on over 3,500 individual health insurance plans, and it paints a grim picture.

Obtaining individual coverage can be difficult because it’s issued under different rules from group coverage. Within a group, risk can be spread among a large number of members, so insurers often offer group policies that are more comprehensive and affordable than individual ones. The NWLC also emphasizes the fact that some important anti-discrimination protections apply to employer-provided health insurance, but not to insurance sold on the individual market. For instance, employers with 15 or more employees can’t charge employees different health-insurance premiums based on gender or other factors, but that requirement doesn’t apply to plans sold to directly to individuals….”

For the complete article, please visit http://sefora.org/2008/10/03/current-events-insurance-and-women%E2%80%99s-health/

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