Disparities & Access

Many of the health challenges faced by women are a result of insufficient access to basic prevention information, health services and insurance coverage. In the pharmaceutical and health industries, the gender dimensions of diseases and treatments are often overlooked in setting research priorities and developing new products. The availability and quality of health care may vary according to race, income, ability, geographic location or immigration status. In the U.S., finding affordable health insurance is particularly challenging for women, who often pay higher premiums than men. Many insurance companies fail to cover or provide adequate maternity care or essential reproductive health services. Additionally, women experience more part-time and interrupted jobs and careers due to caregiving and family responsibilities and require portable health plans that provide stable coverage.

Indigenous Women's Dialogue - Roundtable Report on the Accessibility of Plan B as an Over The Counter (OTC) Within Indian Health Service - February 2012

In most of the United States, a woman 17 years or older who needs Plan B, an emergency contraceptive that can prevent pregnancy up to 72 hours after intercourse, can walk up to a pharmacy counter and request it without a prescription.

 
But for Native American women served by the Indian Health Service, obtaining Plan B might require a drive of hundreds of miles, a wait beyond the pill's window of effectiveness, and a price beyond what the IHS would charge.
 
URL: 
http://www.nativeshop.org/images/stories/media/pdfs/Plan-B-Report.pdf

Turning to Fairness: Insurance Discrimination Against Women Today and the Affordable Care Act

 Through our research we have found that women are continuously charged more for health coverage simply because they are women, and individual market health plans often exclude coverage for services that only women need, like maternity coverage. The report provides an in-depth analysis of these inequalities and explains how the Affordable Care Act explicitly removes these discriminations by 2014.

 
URL: 
http://www.nwlc.org/resource/report-turning-fairness-insurance-discrimination-against-women-today-and-affordable-care-ac
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