Health Care Expenditures
In 2007, 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 41.6 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 (7.8 versus 5.3 percent, respectively).
In 2007, 90.2 percent of women had at least one health care expenditure, compared to 78.8 percent of men (data not shown). Among adults 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 slightly higher for women ($5,519) than for men ($5,076). However, men’s average expenditures exceeded women’s for hospital inpatient services ($21,175 versus $13,626, respectively), hospital outpatient services ($2,549 versus $1,965), and home health services ($5,769 versus $4,912). Women’s expenditures exceeded men’s in the categories of office-based medical services ($1,529 versus $1,411, respectively) and dental services ($694 versus $639). Despite health care expenses by individual category generally being lower for women than men, the overall mean health care expense was greater for women because of the greater percentage of women incurring more expensive services. For instance, 11.1 percent of women had hospital inpatient services, compared to 6.6 percent of men, which contributes to a higher mean expenditure overall.
Overall per capita health care expenditures have increased substantially in the past decade. In 2007, the annual mean health care expenses for women and men were 68.1 and 77.0 percent higher, respectively, than in 1999 (data not shown).