Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Insured or Uninsured,Women Forgo Necessary Health Care Due to Cost

The Commonwealth Fund recently released a new study showing more than 52% of US women have problems getting necessary health care because of cost. In addition, 45% of women had medical debt or reported problems with medical bills.

These problems apply to women across all income levels and were significantly greater than the percentage of men experiencing problems:

Problems paying medical bills & medical debt/ women vs. men:

45% vs. 36%  - all income levels
57% vs 48% - low income
61% vs 50% - moderate income
46% vs 32% - middle income
29% vs 21% - high income

Nearly half (45%) of all women delayed cancer screening and dental services.

Why are women experiencing problems getting necessary health care?  A major reason is the fact that women are charged as much as 50% more than men for health insurance coverage, while their incomes are lower.

Among the new health care reform proposals, HR 3200 will prohibit health insurance companies from charging women higher premiums than men.  It will also reduce out of pocket expenses by requiring no cost coverage for preventive care like cancer screening and prohibit them from denying coverage by treating pregnancy, c-sections, breast cancer and genetic testing as pre-existing conditions.

Get on board.  Join our e-newsletter list and receive legislative alerts to contact your member of Congress for health care reform and funding for breast cancer research.

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