Women skipping health care because of costs

According to a new study by the Commonwealth Fund entitled “Women at Risk: Why Many Women are Forgoing Needed Health Care,” women are more likely than men to have trouble getting needed care because they can’t afford it.

About half (52 percent) of working-age women, compared with 39 percent of men, reporting problems such as not being able to fill a prescription, go to the doctor or get a medical test. This study reveals that seven of 10 working-age women have no health insurance coverage or inadequate coverage, medical bill or debt problems, or problems getting needed health care because of cost.

Women who are insured but have inadequate coverage are especially vulnerable: 69 percent of underinsured women have problems accessing care because of costs, compared with half (49 percent) of underinsured men. Women are more affected by high health-care costs because they have lower average incomes and use the health-care system more frequently, and therefore face higher out-of-pocket health costs than men.

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