If you’re a single woman living in the United States, chances are you’re paying more than single men of the same age for your health insurance.
According to a new ValuePenguin analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, single women in the U.S. consistently pay more, both in money and a percentage of their salary, for health insurance.
In 2020, single women put an average of 6.8 percent of their annual pretax salary toward their health insurance, while men put an average of 3.9 percent. This averages to $2,406 for single women, compared to $1,896 for single men.
The gap doesn’t disappear with age, in fact, it widens. Single women in every age group pay more for their health insurance than their male counterparts. In 2020, single women ages 55 to 64 were paying 4.8 percent of their annual income for health insurance, compared to single men of the same age, who paid only 3.6 percent. By the time they reached 65 or older, women were paying 11.7 percent while men paid 8.4 percent.
Insurance companies have often cited “health risks” as a main component of this determination.
“Insurers that charge more based on gender cite health risks as the main factor,” Robin Townsend, ValuePenguin health and life insurance expert, said. “Specifically, women are considered a higher risk because they tend to visit the doctor more frequently, have more complex medical issues – including pregnancy – and live longer than men.”
Women have an average lifespan of 79.9 years compared to men, who have a lifespan of 74.2 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The data paints a harrowing picture when given the added context of the gender wage gap prevalent across the United States. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, based on 2019 data the national median earnings for those working full-time, year-round in the U.S. was $53,544 for men versus $43,394 for women – an average pay disparity of $10,150. Though it varies, and is higher and lower depending on the state.
Ahead of Equal Pay Day on March 15, the Census Bureau said, “Because women earn less, on average, than men, they must work longer for the same amount of pay.”
READ MORE STORIES FROM CHANGING AMERICA