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April 09, 2007
High-Deductible Health Plans More Expensive for Women

High deductible health plans leave women with far higher out-of-pocket health bills than men, according to a study by Harvard Medical School researchers.

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The researchers calculated the median annual medical costs of men and women who have a high deductible health plan linked with a health savings account.

The median health costs for women aged 18 to 64 were $1,844 in 2006, compared with $847 for men in 2006, according to the study. The difference was even more pronounced among men and women aged 18 to 44. The median expenditures for women aged 18 to 44 were $1,266 in 2006, compared with $463 for men.

The researchers also found that middle-aged adults with the health plans had far higher expenses in 2006 than did young adults.

The study appears in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

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