Imagine you’ve just been given life-altering news: You have heart disease.
Thoughts start flooding your head: How will I pay for it all? What if I can’t pay my medical bills? Or maybe you don’t have to imagine this. Maybe you’re living with it now.
Here are a few sobering facts:
- 1 in 5 women between the ages of 18 and 64 are uninsured.
- Uninsured women are more likely to have inadequate access to care, get a lower standard of care when they are in the health system and have poorer health outcomes.
- Women are charged higher health insurance premiums – approximately $1 billion more each year – for the exact same individual coverage as men. Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, the practice of charging women higher premiums will be banned, thanks in part to the advocacy of the American Heart Association and Go Red For Women.
- 1 in 7 privately insured women reported she postponed or went without needed care because she couldn’t afford it in 2008.
- Women are more likely than men to be covered by Medicare and Medicaid, meaning that efforts in Congress to reduce spending for these programs will disproportionately affect women.
Whether you’re uninsured or under-insured, life is filled with crossed fingers that you won’t get sick. And one thing is clear: We can’t stop the No. 1 killer in women if we don’t have access to quality, affordable care. That’s why the American Heart Association is working diligently to ensure that the Affordable Care Act is implemented.
How the Affordable Care Act helps women
Because of our advocacy for the Affordable Care Act:
- More than 1 million young adult women have gained coverage by being allowed to stay covered on a parent’s plan until age 26.
- Approximately 44,000 women with pre-existing medical conditions have gained coverage through the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan.
- 45 million women with private health insurance coverage or Medicare gained access to free preventive services, including cholesterol screening, tobacco cessation counseling, prenatal care, flu and pneumonia vaccines and mammograms.
- More than 2 million women with Medicare saved $1.2 billion on their prescription drugs in 2011 due to improvements in Medicare’s drug coverage.
Our advocacy team is working diligently to make sure that women like you have access to care through our You’re the Cure action center. Take action by learning more about this issue, and what you can do to talk to your representatives.