Marketing to Women: Skipping or Delaying Medical Care

July 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

A new Kaiser poll reveals that women are more likely than men to delay or skip medical care due to cost.  It seems that most of us are worried about the rising cost of healthcare.

Overall, two-thirds of U.S. adults (64%) are worried about costs.  And this worry is not just resigned to low-income Americans.  Some 38% of those earning at least $90,000 a year delayed or skipped health care in the past year due to cost.  And some 14% of of the more affluent said they had problems paying medical bills in the past year.

Among the higher income group, 22% relied on home remedies and OTC drugs instead of seeing the doctor, 19% skipped dental care and 16% skipped a recommended medical test or treatment.  One in five are still worried about rising insurance and healthcare costs.

Women are always the ones to put family ahead of themselves in seeking medical care.  Of all women, some 64% have delayed or skipped health care due to cost.  Just think about it – putting off a test or dental procedure because of healthcare costs for other family members is a real concern.  And with the growing number of female head of households, there is a concern that these rationed healthcare behaviors will continue to grow.

Some 50% more women than men are worried about health care affordability and access in the U.S., revealed in a new Kaiser Opinion Poll, the Health Security Watch, based on interviews from May 2012.

The delay in healthcare is confirmed in another study recently published by Commonwealth Fund that focused on young adults.  In fact, 41% of young adults between age 19 and 29 failed to get medical care in a recent 12-month period because of cost.   Among uninsured adults, the number rose to 60%.  The survey found that 36% of 19-29 year olds reported problems paying medical bills or said they were paying off medical debt over time.  And 43% of those who had medical debt said they used up all their savings to pay their bills; 33% took on credit card debt; and 32% were unable to pay off student loans or tuition payments.

For healthcare marketers, the message is clear.  We need to educate women on the importance of routine exams and wellness, and on new healthcare reforms that make routine care more accessible.

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