Healthcare’s Gender Gaps

A Kaiser Family Foundation survey finds women age 18-64 are more likely than men to be dissatisfied with the quality of healthcare they receive, by a margin of 22 percent to 16 percent. Given the gender gap in life expectancy, we can expect the women to continue expressing such complaints long after the better-satisfied men are dead. They’ll still be switching doctors, too. The survey found 18 percent of women have changed healthcare providers during the past five years due to dissatisfaction with care, vs. 9 percent of men. Perhaps women’s greater dissatisfaction with the healthcare system relates to the fact they have more dealings with it. The study found 32 percent of women have a condition that requires ongoing treatment, vs. 24 percent of men. Unfortunately, women are less able to pay for this care: 24 percent reported delaying or going without care due to costs at some time in the past year (vs. 16 percent of men). Along the same lines, 21 percent have failed to fill a prescription because they couldn’t afford it (vs. 13 percent of men).