|By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen, Times-Herald, Vallejo, Calif.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
"Gender discrimination on health insurance premiums is illegal under the Affordable Care Act, but long-term care insurance in
Long-term care insurance reimburses policyholders for long-term services and supports, including personal and custodial care, in a variety of settings, like in the home or at a skilled nursing facility.
"If AB 1553 passes and is signed by the Governor, policies with gender-based pricing in
Changing long-term insurance's designation to health insurance would entail a much longer, more difficult process, a Yamada staff member said.
"Gender discrimination has broad public policy implications," Yamada said. "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."
Because women generally live longer than men, they depend on long-term care benefits more and often reduce men's dependence on these services by serving as their caregivers, Yamada's office said. According to the
Gender-based pricing "would make it difficult, if not impossible, especially for women with lower fixed incomes, to afford this product that could help them," Martinsen said. "They would probably do without the care."
The risk of elderly women sinking into isolated poverty, would increase were gender-based pricing to prevail here, both women said.
"Women have always had a hard time figuring out how to pay for long-term care insurance from their lower incomes and resources," California Health Advocates'
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