By Chelsi Walker
Up until the last decade, being a woman meant paying more for healthcare, with many female-specific health concerns seeing reduced or lack coverage. However, the passing of the Affordable Care Act mostly rectified this imbalance, making it a legal requirement for many women’s health issues (like maternity and ovarian cancer screening) to be covered in full by insurance plans with no cost sharing.
That being said, you still have to HAVE insurance to get this benefit. With roughly 97 million women in America uninsured, a significant part of the population is left out of the care coverage guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act. There are major benefits to enrolling in a plan, but women need a good affordable health insurance coverage to get the most from their insurance policy.
Benefits of Women’s Health Insurance
Benefit 1: Save Money on Non-Gender Specific Healthcare
Not all things are created equal, including health issues that disproportionately affect women. For example, women are more likely to experience a stroke in a given year’s time than men of the same age due to estrogen production. And, women make up the bulk of people diagnosed with osteoporosis due to smaller bones and less bone density — and estrogen. Up to 50% of women will break a bone once they reach menopause and their estrogen levels begin to drop.
As you can see, there are plenty of health issues that affect both men AND women, but affect women at a higher rate. Having the right health insurance protects your health — and your wallet — from the expenses of not-covered care.
Benefit 2: Protect Your Family’s Health
Gone are the days where an entire family relied on a male breadwinner’s job perks for health insurance. While this still occurs, of course, many families have to rely on 2 incomes to get by, and may have to seek out private or Marketplace insurance rather than look to their employer for a sponsored plan or benefit package. And, women are increasingly ranking as the family member contributing the most income to their family. The Center of American Progress found that 41% of families had a “breadwinner mother”, defined as an unmarried mother or married woman who out-earns their partner.
Benefit 3: Protect Your Bank Account
Because cost-sharing insurance plans have largely replaced the fee-for-service models that once were the common way to pay for healthcare, it’s not always easy to know how much you’d be paying out-of-pocket without insurance. But it’s safe to say that it’s definitely not cheap — most people will forgo necessary healthcare if they don’t have some type of insurance. That’s why having health insurance is so important. Not only does it save you money on healthcare in the present, taking care of yourself now will save you money on snowballing health issues in the future.
Get Affordable Healthcare
Now that you know the benefits of having health insurance as a woman, it’s time to choose the right plan. Follow these steps to find the most affordable health insurance:
- Know which types of insurance are available to you
- Compare available plans
- Pick the one that has the level of coverage you need at the price you want
- Sign-up with your chosen insurance provider
- Shop around yearly to make sure you still have the best plan