Impact of Medicaid expansion in Oregon on access to prenatal care

S. Marie Harvey*, Lisa P. Oakley, Susannah E. Gibbs, Shyama Mahakalanda, Jeff Luck, Jangho Yoon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Medicaid expansion under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) has the potential to improve reproductive health by allowing low-income women access to healthcare before and early in pregnancy. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of Oregon's Medicaid expansion on timely and adequate prenatal care. We included live births in Oregon from 2012 to 2015 and used individually-linked birth certificate and Medicaid eligibility data. Outcomes were receipt of first trimester prenatal care and receipt of adequate prenatal care. We also assessed Medicaid enrollment one month prior to pregnancy. We estimated the overall effect of Medicaid expansion on prenatal care utilization using probit regression models. Additionally, we assessed the impact of Medicaid expansion on prenatal care utilization via pre-pregnancy Medicaid enrollment using bivariate probit models. Overall, receipt of first trimester prenatal care increased post-expansion by 1.5 percentage points (p < 0.01) after expansion. Receipt of adequate prenatal care also increased significantly post-expansion with an incremental increase of 2.8 percentage points (p < 0.001). Pre-pregnancy Medicaid enrollment increased following Medicaid expansion (β = 0.55, p < 0.001) and was associated with both timely (β = 0.48, p < 0.001) and adequate receipt of prenatal care (β = 0.14, p < 0.001). Using two years of post-ACA data we found that Medicaid expansion had significant positive associations with Medicaid enrollment prior to pregnancy, which subsequently increased receipt of timely and adequate prenatal care. Our study provides evidence that expanding Medicaid has positive effects on women's use of healthcare.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106360
JournalPreventive Medicine
Volume143
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Affordable Care Act
  • Medicaid expansion
  • Oregon
  • Prenatal care

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