Untreated menopause is taking a toll not only on women but also on the U.S. healthcare system, according to a recent study commissioned by Gennev, a leading virtual menopause clinic provider. The study found that medical and prescription costs for women aged 45 to 54 experiencing menopause are 47 percent higher on average compared to women in the same age group without menopause.
Conducted by Milliman, the study analyzed healthcare expenses for women with employer-sponsored health insurance. The per member per month expense for women experiencing menopause averaged $1,243, while the average for the general population of women in the same age range was $848.
“The cost of overlooking menopause goes far beyond financial implications. It exacts a heavy toll on women’s overall well-being—physically, emotionally, and financially,” said Dr. Rebecca Dunsmoor-Su, Chief Medical Officer at Gennev. “But there’s a massive knowledge gap. Our study estimates 80 percent of women between the ages of 45 and 54 could be experiencing menopause symptoms at a given time, yet, based on diagnosis and treatment coded in claims data, only 21 percent seek treatment. This discrepancy underscores the importance of not only recognizing the need for comprehensive menopause care and prioritizing coverage, but the critical need to raise awareness about menopause care. We can empower women to navigate this transformative stage with grace and ensure they receive the support and care they rightfully deserve.”
Interestingly, the study highlighted the potential cost-effectiveness of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Women using HRT had 11 percent lower overall healthcare costs compared to those using other menopause therapies. Additionally, women aged 55 to 59 using HRT incurred lower healthcare expenses across all medical categories when compared to women aged 45 to 54 on HRT, except for pharmacy-related costs.
The study’s findings underscore the importance of comprehensive menopause care and increased awareness of available treatments. Addressing the knowledge gap among healthcare professionals and providing access to specialized care may reduce the burden on women and the healthcare system, leading to improved health outcomes for women experiencing menopause.