A quarter of U. S. women struggled with medical bills in 2010 as health insurance failed in providing them with adequate assistance, according to a fresh report by the Commonwealth Fund.
Non-profit group the Commonwealth Fund, which carries out independent research on health policy, said nearly a fifth (18 per cent) of insured women in the U. S. paid sufficient for medical care out of their own pockets that they could qualify as underinsured.
That is up from 12 per cent in 2003 and 16 per cent in 2007. Households that spend at least 10 per cent of their income on healthcare are labeled as underinsured.
Nearly a third (30 per cent) of U. S. women with a medical problem claimed that they could not seek out a doctor in 2010 due to heavy costs.
Women in the U. S. were also found to be more likely to spend at least $1,000 from their own pockets on healthcare than women in countries like Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the U. K.
However, the report also estimated that the Affordable Care Act would provide health coverage to nearly all women, and reduce the uninsured rate among women from 20 per cent to just 8 per cent.