Health Care Expenditures

In 2005, the majority of health care expenses of both women and men were covered by public or private health insurance. Among women, more than one-third of expenses were covered by either Medicare or Medicaid, while 40.3 percent of expenses were covered by private insurance. Although the percentage of expenditures paid through private insurance was similar for both sexes, health care costs of women were more likely than those of men to be paid by Medicaid or out-of- pocket.

In 2005, 91.0 percent of women had at least one health care expenditure, compared to 77.7 percent of men. Among those who had at least one health care expense in 2005, the average per person expenditure, including expenses covered by insurance and those paid out-of-pocket, was higher for women ($5,211) than for men ($4,514). However, men’s average expenditures exceeded women’s for hospital inpatient services ($17,401 versus $12,556, respectively) and hospital outpatient services ($2,440 versus $1,909). Women’s expenditures exceeded men’s in the categories of home health services, office-based medical services, and prescription drugs. Overall per capita health care expenditures have increased substantially and at about the same rate for both men and women since the 1990’s. In 2005, the annual mean health care expenses for both men and women were approximately 58 percent higher than in 1999.

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