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Health care is a central component of women’s lives, affecting their ability to care for themselves and their families, play a part in their communities, and participate in the workforce and earn a living. Access to comprehensive, affordable, and high quality care is essential for women to address their health care needs –  which change across their lifespans. Women’s access to care is shaped by a wide range of factors, including federal and state health care policies. The passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010 marked a significant change in the availability and affordability of coverage and care for millions of formerly uninsured women and men.

The 2017 Kaiser Women’s Health Survey, a  nationally-representative survey of women ages 18 to 64 finds that coverage rates for women are at all-time highs and use of preventive services is on the rise, but many women still face a wide range of affordability and other access challenges.  This survey is the latest in a periodic series of surveys on women’s health conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation approximately every four years since 2001. The new survey was conducted in the summer and fall of 2017 and included a nationally representative sample of 2,751 women ages 18 to 64. In addition, a shorter survey of 600 men ages 18 to 64 was conducted and key findings are included for comparison. The findings presented in this report examine women’s coverage, access, and affordability of care, their connections to the health care delivery system and use of preventive care, use of reproductive health services, and responsibilities caring for family health needs.

Executive Summary

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.