Medicaid and Medicare are critical sources of public health insurance that many women ― particularly low-income women ― depend on. We’ve got to make sure these programs are accessible to the women and families who need them.

What’s at Stake Today

Medicare is a vitally important program for older women, with women making up more than half of all Medicare beneficiaries. And Medicaid has given low-income women and their families critical health coverage across all stages of life for more than 50 years. Both programs are essential ― but not all women who need these programs have access to them.

What Is NWLC Doing?

The health care law, also known as the Affordable Care Act, significantly improved women’s access to health insurance. But even so, more than three million low-income women in the United States fall into a coverage gap. They don’t have health insurance, even though they’re eligible for coverage under the health care law. That’s because a lot of states didn’t use the funding set aside for them to expand health coverage through Medicaid.

As a result, many low-income women aren’t receiving much-needed health care like prenatal care and mammograms. There’s a dramatic difference in health care access between the low-income women stuck in the coverage gap and the women who have access to coverage.

The health care law was designed to expand Medicaid coverage in every state ― but not every state was willing to comply, even if it meant the women in their state wouldn’t get the health care they needed. We support expanding Medicaid coverage in every state, so all women can get equal access to health care.