HEALTH CARE EXPENDITURES
In 2002, the majority of both women’s and men’s
health care expenses were covered by public or private health insurance.
For women, approximately one-third of expenses were covered by either
Medicare or Medicaid, while just over 40 percent were covered by
private insurance. Although the percentage of expenditures paid
through private insurance was approximately equal for women and
men, women’s health care costs were more likely than men’s
to be paid by Medicaid or out of pocket.
Ninety percent of females had at least one health care expenditure
in 2002, compared to 80 percent of males. Among those who had at
least one health care expense in 2002, the average per-person expenditure
was higher for females ($3,461) than for males ($3,116). However,
men’s expenditures exceeded women’s for hospital inpatient
services ($14,221 compared to $10,371), home health services, and
hospital outpatient services, while women’s expenditures exceeded
men’s in the categories of office-based medical services and
While the gender gap in health care expenditures has narrowed somewhat
since 1998, overall per-capita health care expenditures have increased
substantially among both men and women. Men’s expenses have
increased 46 percent over this period while women’s have gone
up 28 percent.