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Health Insurer trade group offers to eliminate gender rate disparity

As matters currently stand, U.S. women pay from 25 to 50 percent more than men for health insurance.  The reasons for this disparity have been discussed previously in this web log, and include higher utilization rates by women, childbearing issues and better medical compliance by female patients, in addition to old-fashioned gender bias.  Although the health insurance industry has always maintained that underwriting principles underly the disparity, Karen M. Ignagni, president of America's Health Insurance Plans, a trade group, was quoted by the New York Times as having told the Senate Finance Committee on May 5, 2009, that the practice would be discontinued.

This is one of a series of concessions the trade group has offered since the Obama Administration began discussing creation of a government-run insurance option to compete or replace private insurers in the market place.

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