Montana: Insurance Companies Should Consider Gender

February 17, 2009

The Montana Senate is supporting a plan to let insurance companies consider gender when setting rates on certain products.

The chamber took health insurance out of the proposal after it became clear that failure to do so would crush the legislation. The proposal still applies to car, life and other insurance.

Supporters argue that Montana is the last state to have an anti-gender discrimination law on the books. Insurance agents say companies could charge less if gender was an allowed risk factor.

The measure cleared the Senate 27-23 on party lines. Democrats argue it is unfair and perhaps unconstitutional.

Republican sponsor Sen. Gary Perry of Manhattan says he acknowledges the plan will have a tough time in the House, split 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats.

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