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.

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Women's Health USA 2006 is not copyrighted. Readers are free to duplicate and use all or part of the information contained on this page. Suggested Citation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Women's Health USA 2006. Rockville, Maryland: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2006.