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The percentage of women who said they can't afford care doubled from 2000 to 2020
In theory, insurance should make healthcare more affordable; the whole idea is that it's supposed to protect people from unexpected, high medical costs. Yet, out of pocket healthcare costs keep rising, going from $2,792, with a 39.9% share, in 2013 to $3,295, and a 44.7% share in 2019.
The majority of non-elderly adults in the U.S., meaning those between the ages of 19 and 64, get their health insurance coverage through their employers but new data shows that even these people are increasingly unable to afford their care.
Researchers at the NYU School of Global Public Health analyzed data from the National Health Interview Survey, a survey conducted annually by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; they looked at more than 238,000 adults who obtained their health care coverage through an employer or union between 2000 and 2020.
What they found was that 3% of men and 6% of women said they found medical care to be unaffordable in 2020; that was up from 2% of men and 3% of women in 2000.
Women also were more likely to say that services were less affordable than men across every type of care: when it came to dental care, 8.1% of women and 5.4% of men said it was unaffordable; for prescription medications it was 5.2% of women and 2.7% of men; and for mental health care 2.1% of women and 0.8% of men said that they could not afford care.The report zeroed in specifically on two sectors of mental health and dental services, both of which have seen large increases in recent years. For women, their inability to afford mental health care went from 2% in 2017 to more than 6% in 2020, while dental has consistently been seen the highest percentage both men and women, with over 10% of women saying they couldn't afford it in 2020.
Despite these numbers, data has shown that the majority of employees are satisfied with their health benefits: 63% say they are very or extremely satisfied with their health plan, and 28% say they are somewhat satisfied.
Costs, however, are still an issue: one in three employees experienced an increase in their healthcare costs in 2021; of those employees, 48% said that they delayed going to the doctor as a result of increasing healthcare costs.
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