Private health insurance. It's one of those adult things that sits alongside superannuation, taxes, and not eating m&m's for breakfast.
Figuring out what kind of policy you should go for, how much you need to set aside every month, and what level of cover you'll need is really important. And it's not necessarily an easy thing to decide. It's confusing. There's lots of jargon.
And things only get more overwhelming (read: expensive) if you want to look after your reproductive health - something that seems to be strictly reserved for higher-tier policy holders. Which seems weird... because men automatically have their reproductive health covered, yeah?
Is it possible that health insurance providers charge you more because you're a woman?
Yes, it’s possible. And yes, it's already happening.
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Speaking to Mamamia, Associate Professor Gino Pecoraro, who is an obstetrician and gynaecologist in Brisbane, said women actually pay double what men pay for health insurance in Australia.
"A gold policy (the only ones that cover pregnancy) is on average twice the price of entry-level bronze insurance policies. So, if women want reproductive care coverage, they have to pay effectively double what their male counterparts do (if they get a bronze policy - which covers their reproductive needs)," he said.
Professor Pecoraro said pregnancy is excluded from all but the top tier of policies, meaning insurance companies are effectively charging women a higher rate by stealth.