Ranks of uninsured women up 30% in past decade: report
The number of uninsured women in America rose by more than 30% between 2000 and 2010, according to a Commonwealth Fund report that studies differences in healthcare costs for women in the U.S. and 10 other countries. In 2010, 20% of U.S. women, or about 18.7 million females between the ages of 19 and 64, were uninsured, compared with 15%, or about 12.8 million in 2000. U.S. women reported they have problems paying medical bills at double the rate of women in other countries. Meanwhile, 26% of U.S. women had medical bill problems, compared with 13% in Australia, 12% in France and 4% in Germany. The report also examines healthcare and costs for women in Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. “Women, particularly those in their childbearing years, are uniquely at risk for being unable to afford the care they need, having trouble with medical bills, and having high out-of-pocket costs,” Sara Collins, a co-author of the report, said in a news release. The report estimates that after the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is fully implemented in 2014, the uninsured rate for women in the U.S. will drop to 8%. Subsidized insurance options, including anticipated expansion in Medicaid eligibility and premium tax credits for people with incomes up to $92,200 for a family of four will help make sure that nearly all of the roughly 19 million uninsured women in the country will have access to affordable insurance, the report noted.