Just as more disabled and old people are signing up for Obamacare, so too are more women (who have higher expected medical costs than men) signing up. What this means is that premiums will have to go up to finance the higher expected costs, which makes it even less likely that younger, healthier, and men will sign up.
What it means, in Grady’s words, is that “the new health care law forbids sex discrimination in health insurance.” Just as no one can be denied insurance or charged more because of a pre-existing condition, a woman and a man of the same age must be charged the same premium, and their policies must cover the same conditions–including maternity care for unmarried men (and women past childbearing age).
What it also means, however, is that women, like persons with pre-existing conditions, are more expensive to insure. The ban on what is called “gender rating” drives men’s premiums up as well as women’s down. (That doesn’t mean, by the way, that women pay less under ObamaCare than before. It may be that premiums rise for both sexes but the increase is steeper for men.) It means, further, that if ObamaCare enrollees are disproportionately female–just as if they are disproportionately older–premiums will tend to go up for everybody. And lo and behold, they are: The Department of Health and Human Services reports that of the 2.2 million people who have “selected a Marketplace plan,” 54% are female.