by Charlotte Kay, CCHI Policy Fellow
When Beyoncé’s seminal pop song asked the question: “who run the world?” the answer was clear: “GIRLS.” This could not be more accurate than in health care decisions. Women make the key health care choices for their families four out of five times. This is huge; women are the driving force for the health care choices for their children and partners.
Not only are women going to make the crucial decisions in enrolling their families into health care plans in the coming year, but they are also going to be a large percentage of the individuals buying into Colorado’s new marketplace – Connect for Health Colorado. One in every five Colorado women are currently uninsured. Of those uninsured women, 83.8% said it was because the cost of health coverage was too high. According to Ryann Nickerson, the communications director for the Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR), lower wages typically paid to women compared to their male counterparts make it difficult for lower wage women to secure health coverage. However, thanks to Obamacare and the new health insurance marketplace – of the 2.6 million women in Colorado, 36.1% will be eligible for tax credits to help with the cost of health insurance. It is almost as if Beyoncé foresaw Obamacare working for women when she dropped the lyrics “This goes out to all my girls…who will buy it for themselves” (these are the real lyrics, you just have to insert “health insurance” where applicable).
The new marketplace will empower women with affordable choices that all include access to female-specific health benefits. Every Coloradan will also have access to guidance and assistance in choosing the best plan for themselves or their family. Now, it will be easier for Colorado women to get the care they need when they need it!