Medicaid Expansion Increases Access to Family Planning Services

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Researchers found that 35.5% of participants reported increased access to family planning services.
Researchers found that 35.5% of participants reported increased access to family planning services.

HealthDay News — One-third of women of reproductive age report better ability to access birth control and family planning services with Medicaid expansion coverage, according to a study published online Aug. 31 in JAMA Network Open.

Michelle H. Moniz, M.D., from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues surveyed 4,090 enrollees of Michigan's Section 1115 Medicaid Expansion waiver program, the Healthy Michigan Plan (HMP), of whom 1,166 were women aged 19 to 44 years. The sample was weighted to 113,565 women. The authors sought to examine self-reported change in access to birth control and family planning services through HMP compared with before enrollment.

The researchers found that 35.5 percent of the participants reported increased access to family planning services. Those most likely to report increased access after adjustment were women without health insurance coverage in the year preceding enrollment versus those with health insurance for the full 12 months before enrollment (adjusted odds ratio, 2.02); younger women versus those aged 35 to 44 years (adjusted odds ratios, 2.80 and 2.35 for those aged 19 to 24 and 25 to 34 years, respectively); and women with a recent visit to a primary care clinician versus those without a primary care visit in the previous 12 months (adjusted odds ratio, 1.69).

"This finding suggests that Medicaid expansion is associated with improved access to family planning services, which may enable low-income women to maintain optimal reproductive health," the authors write.

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