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Uninsured women are not getting Pap smears
How many women in your family planning facility may be missing a needed Pap smear? Check your numbers: One-fourth of uninsured U.S. women between the ages of 18-64 report not having had a Pap smear within the last three years of a government-issued survey.1
The numbers are twice the 11% rate for women with private insurance and higher than the 15% rate for women covered by Medicaid or any other public insurance. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that women from ages 21-64 receive a Pap smear screening at least every three years to detect cervical cancer and abnormal cells that can develop into cancer.2
More than 17 million women are uninsured, according to figures from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF).3 According to a 2004 KFF national survey, 40% of uninsured women said they had not had a Pap smear in the previous two years, compared to 20% of insured women.3
The figures for the current government report come from the 2005 cycle of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, which gives a detailed glimpse of health services used by Americans and their frequency of use, as well as their costs and method of payment. The current Pap smear figures are similar to those found in 2004 and 2003, says Anita Soni, PhD, a survey analyst/ statistician at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and author of the report.
What does the new report reveal about the frequency of Pap smears? Take a look at the numbers: