According to a new study, in the U.S., rape victims. are mostly stuck paying a substantial chunk of their hospital bill after getting medical treatment — even if they are privately insured. Reuters claim that averagely, females having private insurance struck up paying $950 (or 14% of the total bill) out of pocket for medical services after an assault.
Released in the American Journal of Public Health, the study analyzed hospital billing records for privately insured females who visited the ER (emergency room) in the year of 2013, and identified 1,355 instances of assault. Totality, insurance providers and victims were discovered to have paid over $9 million for sexual-assault related medical services that year, with the average rape costing $6,737. In accordance to Reuters, of that price, about $5,789 was commonly paid for by the insurance of woman.
Lead author Ashley Tennessee, of the Medical University of South Carolina said, “With other violent crimes, victims aren’t responsible for paying for the damage that results from the crime. Many individuals know sexual assault is a problem, but they are often unaware that victims have to pay for associated medical charges.”
Under the Violence Against Women Act, states are required to pay for “rape kits,” or sexual-assault forensic exams. But as Reuters point out, the charges of those exams vary by state, and hospital billing processes often include services beyond the rape kits. Of the 1,355 victims in the research, in merely 32 were they admitted to the hospital following their emergency room visit, each of whom paid an average of $788 for inpatient services, while others incurred around $316 of outpatient charges. Furthermore, almost 7% got prescriptions for HIV-prevention drugs, antibiotics, emergency contraception, or other medication, and 214 paid an average of $48 to fill their prescriptions.
The findings of study are restricted since researchers did not look at men or LGBTQ victims of sexual assault. The charges incurred by females with public insurance or homeless women who are not covered at all (but confront higher risk of assault) also were not analyzed in the research. According to the results, the researchers pointed out that follow-up researches should look at the costs linked with all survivors of sexual assault, and further work should be done to inform victims of possible funding sources.