Examining the Effects of the Contraceptive Coverage Essential Mandate on Unintended Pregnancy Rates Pre- and Post-Implementation of the Affordable Care Act
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The purpose of this study is to determine the effect of the Affordable Care Act’s essential benefit of contraceptive coverage on the rate of unintended pregnancies nationwide. With the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), state-sponsored and most private or group insurance plans are required to fully cover contraceptive devices prescribed by a provider. Data from the 2011-2013 and 2013-2015 waves of the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) allow me to examining changing patterns of contraceptive use before and after the implementation of the ACA. This study uses regression analysis to compare study variables affecting contraceptive usage in relation to unintended pregnancy. With implementation of the ACA occurring in late 2012 for some plans, and full implementation in January 2013, this study compares the effects of the early years of the mandate. The findings suggest that implementation of the ACA has affected a decrease in the unintended pregnancy rate by increasing access to Medicaid coverage, thus increasing access to prescription contraception, particularly for women of lower socioeconomic status in education, race and income.
- MA in Policy Studies