ERIC Number: ED318904
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986
Health Care Financing and Midlife Women: A Sick System. Gray Paper.
Leonard, Frances; And Others
The private health financing system in the United States does not meet the needs of much of the population, especially midlife women (aged 35-65). It is no longer possible for anyone but the richest persons to pay for their own health care. This situation developed during the past 3 decades, during which employer-paid health care expanded enormously and health insurance companies assumed the role of provider of health care. During this expansion, however, per capita medical costs rose more than 1,000 percent: doctors' fees rose 700 percent, and hospital costs rose almost 1,000 percent. Now, more and more workers are being left without insurance, as employers balk at the ever-increasing cost of premiums. The plight of midlife women is most acute, because they often lose their group insurance upon divorce or the death of their husbands and cannot get into another group, even if they can afford to pay for insurance, because of preexisting conditions greatly skewed against women by the insurance companies. It is time for the Federal Government to resume the role that it turned over to the insurance companies. A minimally respectable health policy would ensure that all citizens have their medical needs met, either with the full cost supported by taxes or subsidized in such a way that the out-of-pocket cost is not determined by misfortune or chance of disease. The government must act now to insure that persons are not crushed financially by illness or accident. (Includes 37 reference notes.) (KC)
Descriptors: Eligibility, Females, Financial Support, Government Role, Health Insurance, Insurance Companies, Middle Aged Adults, Policy Formation, Public Policy, Sex Discrimination
Older Women's League, 730 Eleventh Street, N.W., Suite 300, Washington, DC 20001.
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Retirement Research Foundation.
Authoring Institution: Older Women's League, Washington, DC.