Women Struggle More with High Cost of Health Care

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<p>Although both men and women in the U.S. have a similar risk of being uninsured, women are more likely to have problems accessing health care because of costs, a new Commonwealth Fund issue brief finds.<br><br>Conducted by researchers Elizabeth M. Patchias and Judith G. Waxman of the National Women's Law Center, the study finds that the high cost of health care services and premiums is forcing many women, even those with health insurance, to go without needed care. In fact, 33 percent of insured women and 68 percent of uninsured women don't get the health care they need because they can't afford it. Moreover, a higher proportion of women than men struggle to pay medical bills.<br><br><a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=27943&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecmwf%2Eorg%2Fpublications%2Fpublications%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D478513%26%23doc478513"><em>Women and Health Coverage: The Affordability Gap.</em></a> finds that women are at a disadvantage because they have greater health care needs and lower incomes than men. "Women are more likely than men to go without needed health care services because of costs, yet they still have higher out-of-pocket expenses," said Waxman.<br><br>"As policymakers and advocates explore how to expand and improve health coverage, they should ensure that any proposal provides comprehensive benefits and low cost-sharing."</p>