Women are huge consumers of health care services and have complex medical and wellness issues to deal with. A high percentage of this group also has the extra burden of being a caregiver to a family member while maintaining their own health problems. There are some major differences between men and women in the view of the health care system. Reproductive needs and higher rates of chronic health problems make women’s relationship with the health care system challenging at best. Despite more medical and health care needs, women have less financial resources to pay for care related to making comparatively less than their counterparts. Over a lifetime they acquired less wages and assets, with decreased pensions and social security. Higher life expectancy adds to the multiple factors illuminating the issues surrounding women and health care. Besides the for-mentioned problems, women also tend to be low income and balance jobs, children, and caregiving duties, making them prone to acute and chronic health care conditions. Women’s ability to obtain and afford needed health care services has an ominous history and many policies were born along the way.
Examining women’s health policy looks at many different areas, from paying for health care to the delivery of care itself. There are Federal, State, and Local policies that affect health care coverage and access to care. All levels have a huge effect on the affordability and the federal government runs both Medicaid and Medicare. When women utilize medical care they pay for these services through private or public insurance programs, unfortunately some women cannot acquire either, making them uninsured. One in five women are uninsured in the United States and access to comprehensive high quality care is difficult(). Health policies have been made to improve publicly financed programs along with the private health care sector where efforts to reduce cost continue. Women are predominant in public funded programs and are the beneficiaries making them key stake-holder in Medicaid and Medicare. Issues for Women There are many issues facing Women in the health care arena and hopefully their voices will be heard making both private and public health care more affordable and accessible.
Private Insurance Most women receive private insurance through their husbands’ employment, making them a dependent and unable to receive care on their own if they were ever to leave. Premiums on private health insurance are rising faster than inflation and earnings put together. Increased copay and deductible are making it almost impossible for women to pay.
Public Insurance Medicaid comprises 69% of low income women and provides many important benefits. President Obama’s health care reform hopes to increase this service to include all women who are uninsured. As of now, public health care extends only so far when helping the unemployed, low-income, and poor,