Obamacare Helped More Young Women Get Prenatal Care: Study

From Drugs.com - February 14, 2018

Obamacare Helped More Young Women Get Prenatal Care: Study

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 14, 2018 -- One of the main features of Obamacare -- providing insurance for adults under age 26 through their parents' health plan -- allowed many pregnant young women to obtain prenatal care, new research shows.

The study looked at nearly 1.4 million births for 24- and 25-year-old women in the United States from 2009 to 2013.

"Compared with 2009, private insurance payment for births increased" by 2013, said a team led by Jamie Daw of Harvard Medical School's department of health care policy.

And that may have meant more healthy newborns, her team added.

The Affordable Care Act's "dependent coverage provision was associated with increased private insurance payment for birth, increased use of prenatal care, and modest reduction in preterm births," the team reported in the Feb. 13 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Overall, nearly 75 percent of young pregnant women in the study received "adequate prenatal care" after the Obamacare provision took effect, compared to 73.5 percent before the change.

And the preterm birth rate fell from 9.4 percent of pregnancies prior to the change, to 9.1 percent after, the investigators found.

The Affordable Care Act's dependent coverage provision did not help budge all pregnancy outcomes, however. Daw's group reported that "there were no significant changes in low birth weight, [neonatal ICU] admission, or cesarean delivery."


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