Women are major consumers of health care services, negotiating not only their own complex health care but often managing care for their family members as well. Their reproductive health needs as well as their greater rates of health problems and longer life spans compared with men make women's relationships with the health care system complex. Women are also more likely to be low-income and often face the added challenge of balancing work with family health and caregiving responsibilities. For the one in five women who are uninsured, access to high quality, comprehensive care is even more difficult.
Analysis of women's health policy cuts across many sectors of the health care financing and delivery system, including reproductive health policy, reforms to publicly-financed health programs, as well as private sector efforts to contain costs and improve health. Women comprise the majority of beneficiaries in publicly-funded programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, and welfare, making them key stakeholders in public policy debates about the impact of reforms to these programs. Because of their lower incomes, affordability and cost of care are critical issues for women.
This section's materials contain links to research, analysis, and the latest data on health and health care services of importance to women.