Health Care Expenditures
In 2006, the majority of health care expenses of both women and men were covered by public or private health insurance. Among women, one-third of expenses were covered by either Medicare or Medicaid, while 41.8 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 (8.1 versus 5.7 percent, respectively).
In 2006, 90.5 percent of women had at least one health care expenditure, compared to 77.9 percent of men (data not shown). Among those who had at least one health care expense, the average expenditure per person, including expenses covered by insurance and those paid out-of-pocket, was higher for women ($5,219) than for men ($4,546). However, men’s average expenditures exceeded women’s for hospital inpatient services ($17,531 versus $13,104, respectively), hospital outpatient services ($2,369 versus $1,871), and home health services ($5,450 versus $5,286). Women’s expenditures exceeded men’s in the categories of office-based medical services ($1,426 versus $1,253, respectively) and dental services ($622 versus $595). Despite women’s mean health care expenses by category generally being lower than men’s, the overall mean health care expense was greater for women because of the greater percentage of women incurring more expensive services. For instance, more women had hospital inpatient services than men, which contributes to a higher mean expenditure overall.
Overall per capita health care expenditures have increased substantially in the past decade for both men and women. In 2006, the annual mean health care expenses for both men and women were nearly 59 percent higher than in 1999 (data not shown).