I had lunch with an old friend yesterday and we talked about how well his business was doing these days. My friend owns a small consulting firm and has about six people working for him. The topic of conversation eventually turned to the gripes he had about running a business.

The main gripe was the high cost of labor. It seems he’s been having a difficult time finding qualified people to fill some of his positions. He said many kids out of school today all want to start out at 60k or better. Worse yet, however, was the cost of health insurance he has to subsidize to get “bodies” thru the door.

What really struck me odd though was the fact that right off the bat; he has to pay $150 more a month to provide the same coverage of health insurance for a female than a male employee.

If I had to run a small business, I might think twice about hiring a woman if this is true. I never really thought about the disparity in health insurance between men and women until he mentioned it to me.

If I ran a company and I had 10 open positions and the choice was between paying $3000/month to cover all male employees or $4500/month to cover all female employees, the business decision starts to become pretty clear: $18,000 more to pay for women employees.  That’s a big bite into profits right off the bat.