Women and Health Coverage

America’s health insurance crisis does not affect everyone equally. Typically, those who are most in need of health care suffer from having the least access. The link between employment and health care coverage in America intensifies many of the economic and social disadvantages faced by women. The ‘Why is Health Insurance Coverage a Women’s Issue’ Fact Sheets lay out these issues together with state level data, for use by local organizations, teachers, health activists, journalists, and women’s groups. America’s health insurance crisis does not affect everyone equally. Typically, those who are most in need of health care suffer from having the least access.

The link between employment and health care coverage in America intensifies many of the economic and social disadvantages faced by women. Primary responsibilities for caring for young, old, sick, disabled, or dependent family members make it impossible for many women towork at permanent jobs that provide health insurance. Although studies show that intense caregiving responsibilities constitute a health burden, our current system does not provide health care for family caregivers.

Women also may find that they lose health insurance if their marriages end, whether because widowhood or divorce, and even in cases of violence and abuse. Because a married woman is likely to be insured through her husband’s workplace, the end of marriage often means the end of health care, even though the crises that lead to ending a marriage often are associated with an increase in health problems.

Across the board, American women earn lower salaries than men, and are more likely to cluster in low wage jobs that do not provide health benefits in the service sector. Many American women earn salaries that are slightly too high to allow eligibility for public benefits, but far too low to pay for health care.

The cumulative impact of these gendered factors is clear: Uninsured women are significantly less healthy than their insured counterparts.

Fact Sheets

The ‘Why is Health Insurance Coverage a Women’s Issue’ Fact Sheets lay out these issues together with state level data. The Fact Sheets are intended for use by local organizations, teachers, health activists, journalists, and women’s groups.

Please feel free to download the fact sheets that interest you, and make as many copies as you wish. We encourage you to let us know how you are using the Fact Sheets. This will allow us to shape future fact sheets in the most useful format possible.

Seven Reasons Why Health Care Reform is a Women’s Issue

Nine Reasons Why Healh Insurance Coverage is a Massachusetts Women's Issue

Seven Reasons Why Health Insurance Coverage is a Mississippi Women's Issue

Seven Reasons Why Health Care Coverage is an Illinois Women's Issue

Six Reasons Why Health Insurance is a Texas Women's Issue

Six Reasons Why Health Insurance is a Texas Women's Issue (en espanol)