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Women and Health Coverage: The Affordability Gap

Women and Insurance

Although men and women have some similar challenges with regard to health insurance, women face unique barriers to becoming insured. More significantly, women have greater difficulty affording health care services even once they are insured. On average, women have lower incomes than men and therefore have greater difficulty paying premiums. Women also are less likely than men to have coverage through their own employer and more likely to obtain coverage through their spouses; are more likely than men to have higher out-of-pocket health care expenses; and use more health care services than men and consequently are in greater need of comprehensive coverage. Proposals for improving health policy need to address these disparities.


Publication Details



E. M. Patchias and J. Waxman, Women and Health Coverage: The Affordability Gap, The Commonwealth Fund, April 2007