Test Your Knowledge Of Women’s Health Care With These 5 Essential Questions


Whether it's for your mother, sister, friend, a stranger, or for yourself, we've all needed reliable health care for women throughout our lives. But while you may agree women's health care matters, you may not know as much about it as you think. Read these facts about why women's health care is so important, then test your knowledge!

1. More women live alone than ever before.

In 2013, the Current Population Survey found that 27 percent of Americans live alone, compared to a mere 5 percent in the 1920s. In fact, of all American households surveyed in 2012, more women lived alone than men. Even more recently, single women outpace single men (17 percent vs. 7 percent) as homebuyers in the United States. 

Because women have a greater ability to live independent, self-determined lives now more than at any previous point in history, it's important they take that same approach to their health. People who live alone get used to taking care of themselves by paying their rent and bills on time, so it only makes sense they should also take care of their bodies by managing their health, if they are able.

2. Because women often take on the role of primary caregiver, they may forget to take care of themselves.

Because mothers most often serve as the primary caregivers, they make the majority of health care decisions in families, but may not include themselves in the process. "Caregivers don't go to the dentist; they don't get mammograms or annual checkups," Melissa Gartenberg Livney, a clinical psychologist with the PENN Memory Center at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania told NBC News. "So they get sick." 

According to data from the Pew Research Center, about half of moms in households with two full-time working parents reported taking on more parenting duties, including caring for sick children. Additionally, more working moms say it's difficult to strike a work–life balance than their male counterparts. All this suggests that even if working moms wanted to put themselves first, they don't have nearly enough time to do so. 

3. Up until recently, health care has cost more for women than men.

Before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was instituted, women who bought insurance on the individual market were routinely charged up to 50 percent more for monthly premiums than men. This practice was known as "gender rating" and disproportionately hindered a woman's ability to seek proper health care. However, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a "final rule" prohibiting discrimination in health care and health insurance based on gender, race, disability, age, and place of birth. 

But even with the amendment, women still pay more for out-of-pocket health care costs than men, according to new data from health care company Vitals.

On average, how much more do women pay for out-of-pocket health care costs than men? 

a) 52 

b) 33 

c) 69 

d) 85

4. Because health care has cost more for women, fewer women than men have insurance.

A recent survey commissioned by the Transamerica Center for Health Studies (TCHS), a national nonprofit, found that only 11 percent of millennials were uninsured. However, of those people, a majority were women. According to a 2013 Kaiser Family Foundation study, when it comes to health care costs, women have faced "greater financial hardship" than men. Due to this reason, a quarter or women reported putting off health care, compared with one in five men.

Of uninsured millennials, how many are women?
a) 75
b) 60
c) 33
d) 15 

5. Women’s health care has been historically neglected in research, services, and public policy.

Up until recently, medical research largely excluded women from being test subjects, and data was not analyzed for differences in sex and gender. Several studies assessing the safety and effectiveness of various medications did not include women, despite the fact that women use more medications and are more likely to experience side effects than men. It wasn't until relatively recently that women's advocacy and activism helped lead to the passage of legislation requiring clinical trials to include women and minorities, where appropriate. Today, many studies are invested in assessing women's heath from childhood to adolescence to mid-life. In fact, the largest clinical research study ever conducted of either gender, the NIH's Women's Health Initiative, focuses on the health of post-menopausal women.

Can you guess what year legislation passed requiring clinical trials to include women as research subjects? 

a) 1993

b) 1981 

c) 1975 

d) 1988 


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