Governor Ritter Signs Health Legislation

By: Associated Press / KKTV
By: Associated Press / KKTV

Women in Colorado will no longer have to pay higher insurance rates than men.

Gov. Bill Ritter on Monday signed a bill that prohibits gender discrimination in setting health insurance rates. Lawmakers say rates for women were higher than rates for men, and they believe it's unfair.

“Today’s legislation eliminates the type of gender discrimination practiced by insurance companies in setting rates for women – rates which can be up to 59 percent higher than rates for men,” Gov. Ritter said. “This bill ensures access to care and coverage for all at an equitable price and eliminates the financial burden that gender rating puts on women.”

House Bill 1008 passed with strong bipartisan support.

The new law no longer allows gender rating in Colorado’s individual insurance market. More than 130,000 Colorado women aged 19-64 had individual insurance in 2006-07, and 90 percent of the plans offered in Colorado utilized gender rating in the individual insurance market, according to proponents of the measure.

This practice is was already banned in the small group market and the new law will bring equity to the individual market.

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