With the passage of the Massachusetts Equal Rights Amendment in 1976, all insurance policies issued in the state are required to be gender neutral. Since then, LWVMA, its members and coalition partners have successfully fought to have this requirement implemented in health, automobile, homeowner, annuity and employer-purchased disability policies. Our efforts to assure gender neutrality in privately-purchased disability policies have continued to be thwarted, however.
H.784, the latest version of this bill, was supported by LWVMA but is no longer active in the current session. To achieve the goals of that bill, the Senate chose to include gender neutrality in these disability policies as an amendment to its budget. Now, the fate of this significant step in economic stability for women and their families is in the hands of the Budget Conference Committee. The committee is working this week. We ask that you
your Senator and Representative today asking them to support this budget amendment and to demand elimination of gender discrimination in privately-purchased disability policies because:
- Privately-insured women can pay from 10% to 60% more in premiums for the same or lesser coverage as men of the same age and occupation. Well over half of the roughly 200,000 privately-purchased disability policies in Massachusetts are purchased by women
- Gender neutrality is required under the 1976 Massachusetts Equal Rights Amendment
- Social Security, Workers Compensation and employer-purchased disability insurance are already gender-neutral
- It is supported by multiple labor, legal, religious and civil rights advocacy groups
- It is supported by the state Attorney General
- It is supported by a significant majority of the Massachusetts Senate
As we are often reminded by our legislators, personal contact from their constituents is the single most effective way to impact their actions. Please make these calls today and ask family and friends to do the same. You could contact your local media as well. Thank you for all you do.