Health Services Utilization
Health Care Expenditures
In 2003, the majority of both females’ and
males’ health care expenses were covered by public or private
health insurance. For females, approximately one-third of expenses
were covered by either Medicare or Medicaid, while nearly 42 percent
were covered by private insurance. Although the percentage of expenditures
paid through private insurance was approximately equal for both
sexes, females’ health care costs were more likely than males’
to be paid by Medicaid or out of pocket.
Ninety percent of females had at least one health
care expenditure in 2003, compared to 80 percent of males. Among
those who had at least one health care expense in 2003, the average
per-person expenditure was slightly higher for females ($3,644)
than for males ($3,550). However, males’ expenditures exceeded
females’ for hospital inpatient services ($19,242 compared
to $11,003) and hospital outpatient services, while females’
expenditures exceeded males’ in the categories of home health
services, office-based medical services and prescription drugs.
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.
Males’ expenses have increased 67 percent over this period
while females’ have gone up 34 percent.