Episode 4: The State of Women’s Health: Why is Healthcare so Expensive for Women?

Jul 1, 2023 | Podcast

I’m sure that you – like me – have often wondered: just why is healthcare – particularly women’s healthcare – so expensive?

In this episode, I’m shedding light on the additional costs women face in accessing healthcare, and the things that cause these issues. These include wage disparity, geographical location, and the “pink tax” – the higher prices charged for products marketed to women.

I also talk about the fact that, despite the role the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has played in protecting women from discrimination, there are still challenges in ensuring affordable healthcare for all women.

But it’s not all doom and gloom! Despite these challenges, positive changes can be made, as long we keep talking about wage disparities and the specific reasons behind the high costs for women’s healthcare. There is potential for change.

Topics include:

Why it’s so hard for women to access affordable healthcare insurance, even when premiums are the same
Why exceptions and legal responses, such as religious and moral grounds for not covering contraceptives, still impact women’s healthcare costs, despite the ACA and Medicaid
What’s the “pink tax”?
The effect that wage disparity – along gender and race lines – has on affordability of healthcare
The growing gender gap in higher education enrollment and graduation rates, and why that will be good for the cost of women’s healthcare


[00:02:30] Gender disparities in healthcare premiums.

[00:04:00] Women’s healthcare under ACA.

[00:08:38] Gender disparities and income impact.

[00:12:30] The Pink Tax.

[00:16:01] Location impacts healthcare costs.

[00:19:58] Menopause’s economic impact.

[00:23:34] Women’s impact on employment and legislation.

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Resources mentioned in the episode

Gender Wage

The Gender Wage Gap Endures in the U.S. | Pew Research Center

Geographic Location

Cuyahoga, Ohio | County Health Rankings & Roadmaps

Menopause Transition

Menopause transition: effects on women’s economic participation – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Education and Enrollment

Why the gap between men and women finishing college is growing | Pew Research Center

The information in this podcast is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

The personal views expressed by guests on Women’s Digital Health are their own and their inclusion here does not constitute an endorsement from Dr. Brandi, Women’s Digital Health, or associated organizations.

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  • Brandi Sinkfield

    Dr. Brandi, is a Board-Certified Anesthesiologist, who was inspired by her mother, a registered nurse who graduated with a degree in information technology. Through tough love and support from her father, extended family, and friends she attended Case Western Medical School and received her M.D. She completed residency training at Cleveland Clinic and dual fellowship training at Stanford Anesthesiology in Perioperative Management and Digital Health. Growing up she experienced the lack of transparency, shame and secrecy surrounding women’s health and body confidence driving her to imagine a pathway for her own daughter and other women to access information that empowers them and inspires confidence.