Women More Likely Than Men to Skip Tests, Rxs, Says Survey

The 2013 Kaiser Women’s Health Survey results showed how women and their health care and coverage were impacted during the Affordable Care Act (ACA) transition. Some of the changes include a prohibition on using gender in setting premiums, as well as expanding access to a more comprehensive range of preventive services benefits without cost sharing.

The survey was conducted from September 19–November 21, 2013 among women aged 18–64 in the U.S. This was more than a year after the ACA requirements were in place regarding preventive and contraceptive coverage and shortly before the coverage expansions in the law took full effect in January 2014.

Some of the key findings include:

  • Among women ages 18–64, more than 26% of women delayed care in the past year because of cost, compared to 20% of men.
  • About one fifth of women also reported skipping recommended tests or treatment (20%), forgoing or skipping prescription medicines (22%), higher rates than men (14% and 12%, respectively).
  • While most women (82%) report a recent checkup or well woman visit, 6 in 10 know that insurance plans must now cover check-ups at no out-of-pocket cost, and 57% know that mammograms and pap tests are covered without cost sharing.
  • Most women (70%) report discussing diet and nutrition with a provider in the past 3 years, but rates are lower for talking to a provider about smoking (44%), alcohol or drug use (31%), and mental health (41%).
  • Coverage under a parent’s plan is now the leading way that women under age 26 get their coverage, with 45% of women ages 18–25 reporting that they were covered on a parent’s plan as a dependent.
  • Nearly 19% of sexually active women ages 15–44 who say they do not want to get pregnant report that they are not using contraceptives.
  • Among reproductive age women who used birth control and have private insurance, 35% say their plan covered the full cost of contraception, while 42% report that insurance covered part of the costs and 13% say they did not have any coverage for birth control.
  • Fifty percent of women of reproductive age (ages 15–44) say they had a recent conversation with a provider regarding sexual history, 34% reporting one about HIV, and 23% saying they talked to a provider about intimate partner violence.

For more information visit KFF.org.