Ranks of unin­sured women up 30% in past decade: re­port

Modern Healthcare - - LATE NEWS -

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.

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