Giving Compass’ Take:
• The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation reports that while the majority of women are getting regular checkups and screenings, poor women and women of color have fewer connections to health systems.
• What are the consequences of missing regular checkups and screenings? How can public healthcare help to increase the number of women who get regular checkups and screenings?
When asked to describe their own health, most women (82%) rate it positively (excellent, very good, or good). Conversely, almost one in five women (18%) describe their health as “only fair” or “poor.” As women age, they are more likely to rate their health as fair or poor. Higher shares of low-income women and Black women also report fair or poor health. A third of low-income women rate their health as fair or poor. Some of these women have high healthcare needs, yet they are more likely to lack coverage or the means to afford the care they require.
Nearly half of non-elderly adult women report they have a health condition that requires some degree of ongoing care, monitoring, or medication. This rate rises steadily with age, increasing to two-thirds (65%) of women ages 55- 64.
Nine in ten (90%) women have seen a doctor or provider in the past two years, remaining constant from 2013 (91%). However, fewer uninsured women (67%), Latina women (81%) and women with incomes less than 200% FPL (85%) have recent visits for medical care than the average.
Among uninsured women, a quarter (26%) stated they delayed or went without care because they did not have a regular provider. This was also the case for 18% of women with Medicaid and 16% of Latinas. Younger women also reported this barrier at higher rates than older women.
Two-thirds (67%) of women ages 18- 64 with a usual source of care state they obtain their care at a doctor’s office or HMO. For uninsured women, the pattern is notably different, with almost half (48%) seeking care at a clinic.
Most women have had cancer screenings in the past two years, including mammograms (71%) and Pap tests (66%), with variation by age group.
Uninsured women have consistently lower use of all screening tests (Figure 12). While 75% of women, age 40 and older, with private insurance and 63% of women with Medicaid have had a mammogram in the past two years, only 51% of uninsured women age 40 and older did. Just over half of uninsured women (53%) have had a Pap test in the past two years, compared to 71% of women with private insurance and 64% of women covered by Medicaid.
Most women report having a place and provider where they seek care, and most have had a recent doctor’s visit. However, connections to the delivery system are more tenuous for low-income and uninsured women, who are less likely to report a recent visit or regular site of care. Private doctors’ offices continue to be the most common site of care for women. Nonetheless, clinics play a critical role for many, especially women of color, women insured by Medicaid, and the uninsured.