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20% of U.S. Women Uninsured in 2010, Up From 15% in 2000: Report
Date:7/14/2012

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, July 13 (HealthDay News) -- Twenty percent of American women had no health insurance in 2010, up from 15 percent in 2000, a new report reveals.

In addition to the nearly 19 million uninsured women, another 17 million women were underinsured in 2010, according to the report, released Friday by the Commonwealth Fund. The fund is a private foundation that seeks to promote improved health care, especially for low-income people, the uninsured, minority Americans, children and the elderly.

The report also compared insurance coverage for U.S. women to women in 10 other industrialized countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, all of which have universal health coverage.

While uninsured women in the United States were likely to have problems paying medical bills and getting health care, many insured American women also face these problems, compared with women in other countries, the study found.

Other highlights of the report include:

  • U.S. women had problems paying medical bills at double the rate of women in any other country studied.
  • In the United States, 26 percent of women had medical bill problems, compared with 13 percent in Australia, 12 percent in France, and 4 percent in Germany.
  • 39 percent of American women spent $1,000 or more in out-of-pocket medical costs during 2009-2010, compared with 24 percent of women in Switzerland, 1 percent in Sweden, and 0 percent in the United Kingdom.
  • 43 percent of U.S. women went without recommended care, didn't see a doctor when they were sick, or didn't fill prescriptions because of cost, compared with 28 percent in Germany and Australia, 8 percent in the Netherlands, and 7 percent in the United Kingdom.
  • Only 52 percent of American women were sure they could afford health care if they became s
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