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Sunday, March 25, 2012 - 11:00pm

Georgia Women Pay More For Health Plans

Georgia health insurers are charging women more in premiums for the same policies as men.

The findings come as the US Supreme Court tackles a legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act, which bans health gender rating.

The National Women's Law Center says, the practice costs women in the US more than $1 billion a year.

In Georgia, all of the best-selling individual health insurance plans charge women more.

In one Georgia plan, the additional cost for a woman is $650 a year.

The Center's Judy Waxman says, the discrimination is legal.

"Women are charged more than men routinely for the same plans," Waxman says. "And these plans do not include maternity coverage."

Waxman says, states like Georgia are behind the times, but soon, will be forced to catch up because of federal law.

"It's a practice that has been going on for years and years and will continue unless either the state or the federal government bans it," Waxman says. "And in fact, the Affordable Care Act does ban this practice."

But the Affordable Care Act won't come into effect for a year and a half.

The Supreme Court is deciding the law's constitutionality based on another provision -- the individual mandate to buy health insurance.

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