Changing Access to Care for Women of Childbearing Age

In late October, the Health Reform Monitoring Survey (HRMS), released a policy brief exploring the changes in the levels of insurance coverage, access to care, and healthcare affordability for women of childbearing age. The researchers analyzed survey data from between summer 2013 (just prior to the implementation of the ACA’s major coverage provisions) and winter 2014-2015. The analysis showed:

  • The uninsurance rate among women of childbearing age decreased from 19.6 percent in summer 2013 to 13.3 percent in winter 2014–15, representing an increase in coverage for 5.5 million women.
  • Stability in access to care for low-income women between summer 2013 and winter 2014–15, both in the share with a usual source of care (64.5 and 63.3 percent, respectively) and the share with a routine checkup (55.7 and 57.0 percent, respectively).
  • A lower share of women reported problems accessing care in winter 2014–15 (21.8 percent, figure 4) than in summer 2013 (23.7 percent), and women were also less likely to report unmet need for care because of cost in the past 12 months (38.1 versus 42.9 percent in summer 2013).
  • Despite improvements, barriers to care were common among low-income women of childbearing age, particularly for services such as dental care and prescription medications (34.7 and 23.2 percent of low-income women, respectively, reported unmet need for these services because of cost).
  • The share of women who reported a problem paying family medical bills in the past 12 months decreased from 26.2 to 22.3 percent between summer 2013 and winter 2014–15.

Read the full policy brief.