Women of working age (ages 19–64) faced specific challenges in obtaining health insurance coverage and health care before the Affordable Care Act. Multiple factors contributed to women’s experiencing uninsurance, underinsurance, and increased financial burdens related to obtaining health care. This literature review summarizes evidence on the law’s effects on women’s health care and health and finds improvements in overall coverage, access to health care, affordability, preventive care use, mental health care, use of contraceptives, and perinatal outcomes. Despite major progress after the Affordable Care Act’s implementation, barriers to coverage, access, and affordability remain, and serious threats to women’s health still exist. Highlighting the law’s effects on women’s health is critical for informing future policies directed toward the continuing improvement of women’s health care and health.
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