Guttmacher Institute: Fewer U.S. Women Of Reproductive Age Were Uninsured In 2014
The percentage of women of reproductive age who were uninsured dropped sharply between 2013 and 2014, the first full year of implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The decrease among women aged 15–44, calculated by the Guttmacher Institute, mirrors broader national trends reported by the U.S. Census Bureau. This includes steeper drops in the uninsured rate in states that expanded Medicaid under the ACA compared with the rates in those states that did not. The proportion of reproductive-age women without health insurance declined by more than one-fifth between 2013 and 2014, from 17.9% to 13.9%. The change appears to have been driven primarily by gains in Medicaid coverage (from 17.2% to 20.2%). There was a small increase in the proportion of women with private health insurance, from 60.9% to 62.1%.
Gains in insurance coverage among reproductive-age women who live below the poverty line were substantial as well. The uninsured rate dropped by one-fifth, from 32.1% in 2013 to 25.6% in 2014. The gains in the proportion of women aged 15–44 who have insurance coverage has significant implications for access to health care in general, and to sexual and reproductive health care in particular. Medicaid has long offered a very robust package of sexual and reproductive health care services, including family planning services and supplies without out-of-pocket costs for enrollees. And the ACA has spurred significant improvements in private plans’ coverage; most notably, the contraceptive coverage guarantee ensures that privately insured women can access the full range of 18 Food and Drug Administration–approved contraceptive methods for women without out-of-pocket costs.
Cecile Richards (@CecileRichards) September 23, 2015