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Contraception. 2016 May;93(5):386-91. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2016.01.003. Epub 2016 Jan 21.

Health insurance coverage among women of reproductive age before and after implementation of the affordable care act.

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Guttmacher Institute, 125 Maiden Lane, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10038. Electronic address:
Guttmacher Institute, 1301 Connecticut Avenue N.W., Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036. Electronic address:



The Affordable Care Act's expansions to Medicaid and private coverage are of particular importance for women of childbearing age, who have numerous preventive care and reproductive health care needs.


We conducted two national surveys, one in 2012 and one in 2015, collecting information about health insurance coverage and access to care from 8000 women aged 18-39. We examine type of insurance and continuity of coverage between time periods, including poverty status and whether or not women live in a state that expanded Medicaid coverage.


The proportion of women who were uninsured declined by almost 40% (from 19% to 12%), though several groups, including US-born and foreign-born Latinas, experienced no significant declines. Among low-income women in states that expanded Medicaid, the proportion uninsured declined from 38% to 15%, largely due to an increase in Medicaid coverage (from 40% to 62%). Declines in uninsurance in nonexpansion states were only marginally significant.


Despite substantial improvements in health insurance coverage, significant gaps remain, particularly in states that have not expanded Medicaid and for Latinas.


This analysis examines changes in insurance coverage that occurred after the Affordable Care Act was implemented. While coverage has improved for many populations, sizeable gaps in coverage remain for Latinas and women in states that did not expand Medicaid.


Affordable Care Act; Health insurance; Medicaid; Poverty

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