The current economic situation in the United States caused by the Coronavirus pandemic’s effects makes access to quality health care difficult for most women, leading to enormous debts. The medical issues can range from inability to pay for emergency medical charges to the gradual pileup of a debt that can lead to bankruptcy and debtors’ collections. If the government fails to intervene, this issue could escalate to an extent where female patients would feel overburdened.
According to a survey done last year, half of the women in the U.S. shared concern that it could render them bankrupt in the event of a significant health situation compared to a similar survey done in 2019 where only 47% were concerned. By February of this year, the percentage shot to 73%. The reason behind this is that health insurance covers have significantly been reduced, and the insurance premiums, coinsurance, and deductibles that consumers pay directly from their pockets have risen in recent years. The result is that even with an excellent insurance cover, women can still get large bills in the sudden event of an accident or illness, regardless of whether they receive their health insurance through the government or from the employer. It is not a surprise that women who do not have insurance have immense medical debts.
The wage difference between women and men could also be a reason for this vast debt gap. A survey conducted recently shows that women earn 80-82 cents for every dollar earned by men. When the covid-19 pandemic started to hit America, many women lost their jobs and health insurance. A report done in December 2020 showed that women accounted for the 140000 jobs lost. A similar report by the National Women’s Law Center indicated that about 5.4 million of the 9.8 million jobs lost in 2020 were women.
Black and Latina women working in the restaurants, retail, and other hospitality sectors were laid off when most businesses were locked down and closed due to the covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic has caused alarm to most Americans who fear getting medical treatment to avoid huge medical bills. Evidence shows that medical debt has increased sharply during the pandemic. A recent survey showed that most individuals would not visit a healthcare institution for even diagnosis.