BUSINESS
03/01/2013 09:14 pm ET Updated Mar 02, 2013

Genworth Financial Exploits Obamacare Loophole To Charge Women More For Insurance

Many women soon can thank Obamacare for ensuring that they won't have to pay higher health insurance premiums than men. But elderly women can't say the same of long-term care insurance.

Thanks to an Obamacare loophole, long-term care insurance providers can charge women more than men for the same coverage. And Genworth Financial, the largest U.S. provider of long-term care insurance, plans to charge some women higher premiums than men starting this spring, Kaiser Health News reports.

The change will apply to women who buy new individual long-term care insurance policies, Genworth Financial told Kaiser Health News.

Long-term care insurance covers help with daily habits such as eating and getting out of bed, usually for the elderly, the ill and the injured.

"Claims experience shows that two out of three of Genworth’s current claim dollars are paid to women," Genworth Financial spokesman Tom Topinka wrote in an email to The Huffington Post on Saturday. "Our decision to charge women applying individually for long term care insurance higher premiums than men beginning this April has nothing whatsoever to do with The Affordable Care Act."

Obamacare will ban gender discrimination in pricing for new individual and small-group health insurance policies starting in 2014. Women currently pay $1 billion more in premiums every year than men for the same set of benefits, according to the Center for American Progress. That may be partly because research has found women use health care services more than men. Starting in 2014, Obamacare also will ban health insurance companies from denying coverage to women.

This post has been updated to include a comment from Genworth Financial spokesman Tom Topinka.

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