Today, the Kaiser Family Foundation released the 2017 Kaiser Women’s Health Survey, a nationally-representative survey of women ages 18 to 64, which found that healthcare coverage rates for women are at all-time highs and the use of preventive services is on the rise, however many women still face a wide range of affordability and other access challenges.
Access to comprehensive, affordable, and high-quality care is essential for women to address their health care needs – which change across their lifespans. Women’s access to care is shaped by a wide range of factors, including federal and state health care policies. The passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010 marked a significant change in the availability and affordability of coverage and care for millions of formerly uninsured women. In 2017, 81 percent of women reported that they had a checkup or well woman visit in the past two years, which the ACA requires coverage for at no extra cost to women.
Seven years after the passage of the ACA, nine in ten women have health coverage, more than ever before. On many measures, women with insurance have better access to care, but some still face barriers such as services that are not covered, expensive cost sharing, and providers that do not accept their coverage. Affordability continues to be a challenge, with many women reporting they could not afford to obtain preventive care, treatments, or prescription medicines because of the out-of-pocket costs. In addition, some barriers are outside the health care system and result because women do not have time to seek care or do not have workplaces that support them taking time off to go for appointments.
You can read an overview of the Kaiser Family Foundation study here.