Do Health Insurers Hate Childless Married People?

Warning: This is totally a first-world problem–those of us with health insurance should be thanking our lucky stars. With that out of the way, I assumed since babies are expensive that health insurance companies would charge you more if you have a kid. It seems the opposite may be true. And I’m stark raving mad about it.

It turns out that many health insurers who offer coverage through your employer will charge x to insure just the employee. Then they’ll charge roughly 2x to insure an employee + a child. That seems fair. What’s utterly unjust is what they charge an employee + a spouse: It’s often 3.5x!

It’s like we’re being penalized for not being single parents–and for being married to someone who wants to go on our insurance. 3.5x is the same rate families of four, five, and more are charged. Why should childless marrieds pay that same amount to cover just two people?

There may be a good explanation for this that I’m not aware of because I tend to plug my ears and chant “la la la” when it comes to matters of health insurance, 401Ks, and mortgages (okay, not really, but I’m nowhere near as educated on these issues as a functional adult should be). Still, I’d suspect that a healthy 20-something wouldn’t cost more to insure than a fragile, immunodeficient newborn.

And if it really is pricier to insure an adult than a child, at least offer an employee+spouse rate among the employee+child and family coverage options. I’m flattered childless marrieds are considered families (as they should be), but Paul and I shouldn’t be paying the same amount that the Duggars are paying.

Do you think it’s fair that some couples pay the same amount that giant families pay for health insurance? Does your company offer a fair employee+spouse rate for coverage?

More Things That Grind My Gears
When Wedding Gifts Break
When People, Cough, Russell Brand, Cough, Don’t Take Marriage Seriously
When Brides Are Selfish Biotches

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