Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Women's Health

Font Size

Rising Costs Affect Women's Health

Survey Shows Many Women Put Off Doctor Visits Because of Higher Health Care Costs
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Dec. 2, 2008 -- Almost half of women surveyed in a national poll said they had failed to seek health care for themselves or their families over the previous year because the cost was too high.

The annual survey of women's attitudes and behaviors regarding health care, released today by the National Women's Health Resource Center (NWHRC), found that women were most likely to put off doctor visits for themselves and least likely to put off doctor visits for their children.

One in four women who said they had skipped needed medical care believed their illnesses lasted longer as a result, and 43% said they worried more about their health.

Rising health costs appeared to have had a major impact on decisions regarding care:

  • 28% of women said they put off going to the doctor during an illness for financial reasons.
  • 19% said they had skipped recommended medical procedures, such as Pap smears or mammograms, because of cost.
  • 18% said they had taken less than the recommended dosage of a prescription drug in order to make it last longer and 18% failed to fill some prescriptions.
  • Only 4% said they had put off taking their children to the doctor because of the cost.

"With the financial crunch a lot of women are putting off or cutting back on health care for themselves and they are paying a high price," NWHRC Executive Director Elizabeth Battaglino Cahill, RN, tells WebMD.

"If you are cutting back because money is tight, don't cut back on health care or health insurance. Cut something else, because if you don't take care of yourself you may not be around to take care of your family."

Stress and Weight Gain

The survey, conducted online in late September and early October, included 754 adult women with and without health insurance chosen to reflect the racial and socioeconomic composition of women in the U.S.

Only about one in five surveyed women (19%) believed that their health had gotten better over the past five years, while 39% saw no difference and 42% believed their health had gotten worse.

1 | 2 | 3

Today on WebMD

hands on abdomen
Test your knowledge.
womans hand on abdomen
Are you ready for baby?
birth control pills
Learn about your options.
Is it menopause or something else?
woman in bathtub
bp app on smartwatch and phone
estrogen gene

Send yourself a link to download the app.

Loading ...

Please wait...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Blood pressure check
hot water bottle on stomach
Attractive young woman standing in front of mirror