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Number of Uninsured Women Sharply Lower

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by Robert Sheen

The percentage of women aged 15 to 44 dropped sharply between 2013 and 2014, maid_150401the first full year of implementation of the Affordable Care Act,,according to an analysis by the Guttmacher Institute.

Nationwide, nearly 18% of women of childbearing age had no health insurance in 2013. Following the first year of implementation of the ACA, that number fell to just under 14%, a decline of 22%.

Among women with incomes below the poverty line, more than 32% were uninsured before the ACA, compared to less than 26%, a 20% reduction.

In states that expanded their Medicaid programs following implementation of the ACA, the number of uninsured women declined by 32%, compared to just 14% in non-expansion states.

The Guttmacher Institute, which conducts research on issues related to reproductive health, said that “the gains in the proportion of women aged 15–44 who have insurance coverage have significant implications for access to health care in general, and to sexual and reproductive health care in particular.”

It noted that Medicaid offers a broad range of reproductive health care services, including family planning services and supplies, and the ACA requires health insurance plans to include reproductive health and contraceptive coverage as well as other medical services important to women.

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