Women have greater health care needs than men, and generally play larger roles in the health care of family members. Rising health care costs combined with sluggish income growth has contributed to losses in health insurance among women and rising rates of problems gaining necessary health care and paying medical bills. Women who seek coverage in the individual insurance market face additional hurdles—few plans offer maternity coverage and, in most states, insurance carriers charge higher premium rates to young women than men of the same age. The Affordable Care Act is bringing change for women through required free coverage of preventive care services, small business tax credits, new affordable coverage options, and insurance market reforms, including bans on gender rating. When the law is fully implemented in 2014, nearly all the 27 million working-age women who went without health insurance in 2010 will gain affordable and comprehensive benefits.
Women at Risk: Why Increasing Numbers of Women Are Failing to Get the Health Care They Need and How the Affordable Care Act Will Help