June 09, 2024

The Healthcare Cost Burden on Working Women in the U.S

Roya Azimi

Recent research by Deloitte reveals a stark financial disparity in healthcare costs between working women and men in the United States. Working women are estimated to pay $15 billion more each year for healthcare than their male counterparts. This significant gender-divided financial burden persists even when maternity-related services are excluded.

Key Findings from the Deloitte Report

The Deloitte study highlights several critical factors contributing to this disparity:

Higher Out-of-Pocket Expenses

Women often face higher out-of-pocket expenses for various healthcare services. These include routine check-ups, preventative care, and treatment for chronic conditions. The disparity is exacerbated by the fact that women are more likely to use healthcare services more frequently than men.

Price Discrimination

There is a phenomenon known as "pink tax" where products and services targeted at women tend to be more expensive than those for men. This extends to healthcare services and medications, adding to the overall financial burden on women.

Insurance Coverage Gaps

Women are more likely to encounter gaps in insurance coverage, leading to higher out-of-pocket expenses. Even with insurance, women often pay more due to higher deductibles and co-pays.

Chronic Health Conditions

Women are more likely to suffer from chronic health conditions such as autoimmune diseases, which require ongoing treatment and medication, adding to their annual healthcare costs.

Mental Health Services

Women are more likely to seek mental health services, which can be costly. The stigma around mental health often results in delayed treatment, which can lead to more severe health issues and higher costs over time.

The Impact of Excluding Maternity-Related Services

Even when maternity-related services are excluded, the financial burden on working women remains disproportionately high. This indicates that the cost disparity is not solely due to childbirth and related medical care but is a broader issue encompassing various aspects of healthcare.

Implications and Solutions

The financial burden of healthcare costs on working women has significant implications:

Economic Impact

The additional $15 billion paid by women affects their overall economic stability and financial well-being. This disparity can lead to long-term economic disadvantages for women, affecting their savings, investments, and retirement plans.

Workplace Productivity

Higher healthcare costs can result in increased absenteeism and lower productivity among women. Employers may also face higher healthcare premiums, affecting their bottom line.

Policy Changes

To address this issue, policymakers need to consider measures to reduce the financial burden on women. This includes enforcing equal pricing for healthcare services, expanding insurance coverage, and ensuring comprehensive preventive care.


The Deloitte report sheds light on the significant financial disparities in healthcare costs faced by working women in the United States. Addressing these disparities requires concerted efforts from policymakers, healthcare providers, and employers to ensure equitable healthcare access and financial fairness for all.

For more information, you can read the full Deloitte report here.

Written by
Roya Azimi

In today's world, technology has played a significant role in managing medical debt. The traditional approaches have transformed, and it's no longer solely centered around debt consolidation or loan procurement. Instead, the emphasis is now on minimizing debt and creating adaptable payment management solutions to attain financial liberation from medical debt.

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