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Costlier Health Care Weigh Downs the Women

The high cost of health care seems more of a burden for the women than a boon. The higher premiums and related costs results in the women not getting //the right kind of health care that is needed. They are not able to pay the medical bills on time in spite of having insurance.

A national survey conducted by the Commonwealth Fund, a private, New York- based group that supports research on health and social issues found that the women patients don’t visit the specialist doctors when suggested. They don’t fill the prescriptions, go to see a doctor when needed or do the required test when needed. All this due to the high costs involved.

On an average it has been found that it is the women who pays more for health care than the men example the kind of tests and routine examinations that women gets done when she is pregnant.

People like Judith Waxman, vice president of the National Women's Law Center, are advocating the need for a national debate where the employers should switch to policies with higher deductibles and more bendable and low cost alternatives should be adopted for the 44 million uninsured and 16 million underinsured people in the country.

It has been found that women have higher health needs but lower income than men. In a national survey conducted on 40,000 people from the age of 19 and above, found that 33% of insured women and 68% of uninsured women did not get health care because they could not afford it. Whereas it was 23% insured men and 43% uninsured men who went without it.

There is a disparity in the pay too among women and men. Women earned 77 cents to a dollar earned by men. The out of pocket expenses and low income make women spend more than 10% of the income on health care. Nearly 38% women found it difficult to pay the medical bills compared to men.

A study conducted by the Harvard Medical Centre found that high deductible policies hurt the women. Some benefit providers are confron ting researchers about the consumer driven policies.

Robert Hurley, vice president of strategic initiatives at eHealth Inc., a seller of health insurance on the Internet, based in Mountain View, California is of the view that “``One of the advantages I've seen is that these women now have more freedom to seek out alternative forms of care instead of being stuck in a traditional form, where what the doctor says goes.”

Although there are 247 million coverage of insurance of he people and the premium going up by 7% the people using these insurance have come down to an extent. The rising cost and the availability of generic medicine over the counter have also resulted in the states like Minnesota incurring loss over their health plans. Almost close to 86 million dollars.

According to Julie Brunner, executive director of the Minnesota Council of Health Plans, “This double-digit increase in overall medical care spending reinforces the need to continue significant investments in efforts to improve health care quality, value and individual health. This is an issue where every individual contributes to the solution.”

A study conducted revealed that there was a 15% increase in inpatient hospital costs and the emergency department incurred a jump of 14%. Although the insurance coverage rose by 1%. The enrollment for state run plan came down by 8% consumer driven plans rose by 50%.

Sara Collins, assistant vice president for the Commonwealth Fund's Program on the Future of Health Insurance, said in a prepared statement that “These findings show that comprehensive health care coverage that doesn't require high out-of-pocket costs is vital to ensuring that women get the care they need to be healthy,” she also goes on to add “As policymakers consider health care reform initiatives, they should consider plan designs that will result in meaningful, affordable, and equitable access to health care for everyone.”

The policie s introduced are being used only by a fraction of the people who are most cost conscious as not much information these are readily available. So the insurance companies would have to repackage their plans better so the consumer can have access to information about it readily.


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