Women hit harder in health care crisis: study

  1. CHICAGO, April 19 (Reuters Life!) - Rising health costs are likely to hit women harder than men, especially as companies shift more costs to employees, according to a U.S. study released on Thursday.
    Women are more likely to skip needed health care than men and are more likely to wind up in debt over health care bills, according to the report, sponsored by the Commonwealth Fund.
    "Whether women are insured or uninsured, they have so many out-of-pocket costs they are more likely to avoid healthcare," said Judith Waxman of the National Women's Law Center, who worked on the study.
    The authors said the study underscores the need for comprehensive health-care coverage that does not require high out-of-pocket costs.
    "As policymakers consider health-care reform initiatives, they should consider plan designs that will result in meaningful, affordable and equitable access to health care for everyone," Sara Collins, a health policy expert at The Commonwealth Fund, said in a statement.
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  3. by   oramar
    Yes, I read an article somewhere that said health savings accounts and high deductables insurance plans discriminated against women because they have so many out of pocket expenses. Do you know in Pennsylvania health insurers can discriminate on bases of age and sex? If an employer has a lot of older females on their payroll they can experience really big increases in their premiums. Sounds like it should be illegal does it not. It is called demographic insurance and our legislature is trying to ban the practice.
  4. by   gitterbug
    Is it really a surprise that women are more affected by changes in healthcare ? Is it so surprising that major studies on health issues mainly regarding females need to have a cost containment clause prior to being undertaken? There was an interesting discussion at work, concerning ED and the vast number of products touted to solve the problem. One of the guys thinks this problem is earth shaking, another one feels that lack of screening for female health issues has gotten worse and will continue to do so. Needless to say, the second guy is vastly appreciated by his female coworkers and does seem to get along with all of us better. Like he said, most of the time, males do not give a thought as to what really happens to females unless it is "their" female.
  5. by   noggin_wise
    If the U.S. and Soviets launched nuclear weapons on each other the headline in every liberal newspaper would read how women and minorities would be hardest hit by the weapons and fallout.
  6. by   HM2VikingRN
    Tom Daschle made an interesting point:

    Furthermore, we are falling behind in basic health measures such as life expectancy and infant mortality. When considering factors such as access, funding, and quality of care, the World Health Organization ranked the U.S. health system as only the 37th in the world.
    A second myth holds that we can’t afford to do any better. But consider that over 15 percent of our economy is spent annually on health care. Per person, we spend 50 percent more than Switzerland, the nation that ranks second in per capita spending. Americans pay for half of the drug industry’s profits worldwide. And despite spending the most, we leave 46 million Americans out – those who lack health coverage.
    Health care is a complex topic, but myths should not cover up a simple truth: We are wasting money by paying top dollar for mediocre results.


    The Uninsured: Facts

    • Nearly 44 million Americans have no health insurance. That number exceeds the combined population of 24 states.
    • Some 18,000 people die prematurely every year as a result of having no insurance. That’s the equivalent of six September 11ths every year.
    • Last year, the number of people without health insurance increased by 2.4 million, the largest increase in a decade.
    • Middle-income households accounted for the greatest increase in the number of uninsured in 2002.
    • The majority of uninsured Americans are neither poor by official standards nor unemployed. In fact, seven out of ten uninsured Americans come from families where one adult works.
    • Racial and ethnic minorities account for over half of the uninsured.
    • Over one million Americans lost their employer-sponsored coverage last year. Without job-based group coverage, private insurance can be unattainable or unaffordable.
    • The uninsured are more likely to live sicker and die younger. Uninsured people with terminal illnesses are often diagnosed later and lack access to life-saving technology.
    • Uninsured women with breast cancer are twice as likely to die from the disease than women who are insured.
    • Having insurance improves overall health and could reduce mortality rates for the uninsured by 10-15%.
    • The U.S. spends a higher proportion of its economy on health care than any other industrialized country, even those that provide universal health care.
    • If the U.S. provided universal health care under the current system, the cost of insuring everyone would increase spending by less than one percent.

      Sources: Kaiser Family Foundation, The New York Times, U.S. Census Bureau, Department of Health and Human Services, and the Institute of Medicine.

    Every man, woman and child has the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.
    —Universal Declaration Of Human Rights
    Last edit by HM2VikingRN on Apr 25, '07