More Women Are Losing Insurance Than Men

Nurses Activism


The New York Times

August 31, 2001

"More Women Are Losing Insurance Than Men"

By Tamar Lewin

"Over the last five years, the number of uninsured women has grown three times faster than the number of uninsured men, according to a new study by the Commonwealth Fund."

"Lack of insurance is a serious problem for women, the report said, because women's health needs are greater than men's: women are more likely than men to have chronic illnesses, more likely to have mental health problems and more likely to make regular use of prescription drugs."

"Older married women, aged 55 to 65, are 40 percent more likely to be uninsured than older married men, in part because their husbands meet Medicare's age 65 coverage requirement and they do not. As couples near the age of Medicare eligibility, women married to older men are at especially high risk of being uninsured."

Karen Davis, President of the Commonwealth Fund:

"It's ironic, and not right that as women get older, and reach the age range where they're most likely to be providing care to disabled family members, they're also most likely to be having trouble making sure their own health care needs are met."

Again, 92% of Americans believe that it is important for the President and Congress to "deal with the issue of increasing the number of Americans covered by health insurance." And yet they continue to follow policies that are supported by the 2% that believe it is "not at all important." Why?


1,301 Posts

Hi feistynurse. I just recently heard on one of the cable networks or public television that worldwide women now outnumber men. What that means is that issues of concern to both women and men are taking precedent as your topic indicates.

Women are beginning to assert themselves politically to help improve their quality of life. Also, we must take in consideration that an improvement in the quality of life for women will more than likely mean an improvement in the quality of life for many men either in their childhood and/or as adults.

In addition to what you pointed out with older women and the loss of health insurance, some media point out that there has been a large loss of health insurance by young, mostly single mothers who were involved in the welfare to work program and received training for an employer who does not provide adequate access to reasonably priced health insurance. It's a crises with women and health insurance in general.

Once again, women are penalized for our majority caregiving status.


99 Posts

Just a note: the article quoted mentioned that the age of Medicare covereage is 65...that will be going up for the boomers...I'll be 66 and 2 keep that in mind.

Every nurse should be keenly aware of the benefits of their job and I mean pension, 401 K and extension of health benefits to retirees. Do not assume you know! Some companies have plans where you can turn unused sick time into premiums so that you can retire early with coverage.

I don't ever want to read another post about a 30 year nurse who has no benefits and is getting a 19$ a month pension.

It is just too sad. Protect yourselves, ladies and gents. Ask about those benefits before you sign on and keep abreast of how they are changing. Employers can change benefits programs in a snap. Stay sharp.


921 Posts

Good advice Enright!

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