Bridging the gender gap: The new age of healthcare for men
There has been a lot of talk in the past few years about the changing healthcare landscape. Through lengthy Supreme Court hearings, we have learned about the provisions that impact women. However, there is one group that has flown under the radar in the press-men.
Public health data from the past decade illustrates a clear disparity in health outcomes among men and women. On average, men die almost 6 years earlier than women according to the Centers for Disease Control. For the most part, these deaths are due to preventable health conditions such as heart disease, cancer, injuries, stroke and HIV/AIDS, according to the Center for Health Statistics. Men are less likely than women to go to the doctor for annual exams which include preventive health screenings.
With the advent of the Affordable Care Act (The healthcare law passed in 2010), a door has been opened for men to access these services. As of last year, most Americans are required to carry health insurance. These policies now offer a wider range of services that allow men to access preventive screenings. As part of the law, all health insurance policies must cover ambulatory care, emergency services, hospitalization, mental health and substance abuse services, prescription drugs, rehabilitative services, lab work, and preventive services for chronic disease management.
With the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act, there are more choices for men. If the plans available through the new ACA Marketplace are deemed unaffordable, as of last year, men in Pennsylvania can qualify for medicaid, a public health insurance plan that is based on income. As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve, access is the key to better health outcomes for men. It’s time to bridge the gender gap.