• Women frequently pay higher premiums than men for the same coverage. Also, group plans predominantly composed of women workers pay higher premiums than groups composed predominantly of men workers.

  • Maternity benefits frequently excluded.

  • Reproductive health services are costly and too often not covered. Birth control for women of reproductive age is the highest out-of-pocket expense.

  • More women than men are either uninsured or underinsured (45% of women compared to 39% of men.) [3] This is even higher for women of color as compared to white women.

  • Women pay a higher share of income than men for health care largely because they earn less.

  • Women have greater difficulty paying medical bills than men. Principally because of lower wages.

  • Women without insurance coverage or underinsured forgo preventive care.

    • Some 40% of women without insurance coverage do not get annual Pap tests for cervical cancer or some STIs. [6]

    • About one in five women have not received a mammogram in the past two years. [6]

  • U.S. ranks a shameful 42nd among nations of the world in maternal mortaility rates -- highest among industrial nations. For African American women maternal mortality rate is three times that for white women. [6]

  • Women are the principal health care deciders for families and make 80% of all family health care decisions. [6]

1. White House , Women for Health Insurance Reform, Summer 1109 (www.whitehouse.gov).
2. National Partnership for Women and Families.
3. National Women's Law Center.
4. U.S. Census Bureau.
5. America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 1109 (H.R. 3110).
6. Women and Health Care Reform (www.womenhealthcarereform.org).
7. Affordable Health Choices Act [S. 1679].


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