Monthly Archives: March 2021

The Connection Between Gender and Medical Debt 

March 24, 2021 by Dr. Lori Gore-Green (Edit)

 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.

Living Well With Menopause

 During the years leading up to and shortly after menopause, women experience hormonal fluctuations that impact their physical and emotional health. While some women hardly notice the changes, others are plagued with mood swings, hot flashes, and disrupted sleep that makes life more challenging. Living well with menopause is as simple as finding the coping strategies that work for each woman’s individual needs.

 Find Ways to Manage Hot Flashes

 Feeling the heat creeping up their neck can make women wonder if everyone else notices their rising temperature. Hot flashes can occur multiple times a day, but they tend only to last a few minutes. Women can dress in layers to have more control over their body temperature. It is also essential to drink water to keep their bodies hydrated.

 Take Steps to Address Vaginal Dryness and Incontinence

 Changes in a woman’s sexual health can be especially challenging to deal with during menopause. Vaginal dryness doesn’t have to disrupt a woman’s relationships. Instead, women can use lubricants to overcome this common issue. Women may also take oral supplements of vitamin E or flaxseed oil to encourage their body to produce more moisture. There are many treatment options available today for women with incontinence, and doing Kegel exercises is an excellent place to start with strengthening weakened muscles.

 Make Stress-Reduction a Priority

 This tends to be an emotional time for women. Not only is dealing with the physical symptoms demanding on a woman’s time and patience, but some women might also be grappling with accepting their new stage in life. Some women might grieve no longer being able to conceive having children or losing their former physical appearance. Finding ways to manage stress helps them to maintain a more positive mindset. Women can prioritize relaxation by starting a meditation practice or journaling about their experiences. Practicing good sleep hygiene can help them to reduce the effects of insomnia on their mental alertness.

 While menopause may bring many changes to a woman’s health, there is a solution for every problem. Identifying ways to cope puts women in control over their health, making it easier for them to manage this significant transition. Being able to emerge on the other side of the menopausal process more substantial and more confident is a goal that every woman can achieve with proper self-care.