“Not relying on an employer for health insurance reduces the feeling of “job lock,” the idea that people stay in a job that otherwise pays poorly or does not offer opportunities for advancement because they depend on the health coverage provided by the employer.

Women are more likely to stay in a job for health insurance than men, because women value health insurance more, says Heidi Hartmann, an economist who is also the president and founder of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

“Women have higher out of pocket health care costs than men, and anything that improves your disposable income by reducing your costs is likely very valuable,” Hartmann said.

Hartmann and Allina agree that the freedom to shop around for a better job is important—and Allina says the flexibility can help young women pick a high-paying job that will set the bar on their lifelong earnings.”