Female employees spend $266 more annually than men, and that excludes pregnancy-related costs, a report by Deloitte says.
Women are spending more money on their healthcare costs, and employers and insurers should look at their coverage, a new report suggests.
On an annual basis, women typically spend $266 more on their out-of-pocket healthcare costs than men, according to a report by Deloitte. To be clear, that assessment excludes pregnancy-related costs.
Nationwide, women in the workforce spend an estimated $15 billion more each year than working men, the report states.
Even excluding pregnancy, women do utilize healthcare services more than men; the gap is 10%, the report notes. But that doesn’t explain why women spend 18% more out of their own pocket, the authors state.
While 46% of all working men have out-of-pocket expenses of $1,000 or less, compared to 35% of women.
The higher out-of-pocket costs can have a bigger impact than women, who typically earn less than men. Women earn about 82 cents for every dollar earned by men, the report notes. Black women earn 70 cents, and Latinx women earn 65 cents, for every dollar earned by white men.
Those gender pay gaps are seen in healthcare, by the way. Women physicians typically earn less than their male counterparts, at all stages of their careers, researchers have found.
The report suggests that employers take a look at their benefit packages for more equity. If employers wanted to close the gap, it would cost less than $12 per employee per year, according to the report.
Health plans should look at their coverage with an eye toward equity, the authors state. They should examine their benefits packages and take a look at the health needs and demographics of their members, and plans should work with providers to find ways to reduce the financial burden of health services, the report suggests.
Employers should also look at their benefits offerings and consider changes to improve equity, and they could view it as an investment in their workers, the report states.
Of course, women also face higher costs for pregnancy, and single women account for 40% of all childbirths in the U.S. The report notes that the out-of-pocket cost for a delivery is around $2,900.
Deloitte examined data from 16 million lives under employee-sponsored coverage.
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