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Women benefit from Medicaid expansion.

Allowing states to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act increased health coverage for uninsured women in the U.S., a study in the April issue of APHA's American Journal of Public Health finds.

Researchers relied primarily on data between 2010 and 2016 from the National Health Interview Survey. The data included information on low-income women between ages 18 and 44, when health care is imperative for both mothers and newborns.

States began expanding Medicaid in 2014, allowing more people to receive coverage under the program. Researchers compared health care of 74,000 women prior to the expansion with health care of 54,000 women after the expansion. Of those women, 51,000 were from low-income households.

In the three years after Medicaid expansion, a significant decrease was noted in low-income women not having medical insurance, showing an 18% decrease in the uninsured in the first year of the policy and a 33% decrease in the second and third years.

Low-income women of reproductive age are less likely than other people in the U.S. to have health insurance through an employer and less likely to have it than older women, the researchers said.

Thirty-six states and Washington, D.C., have expanded Medicaid as of March 2019.

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Title Annotation:JOURNAL WATCH: Highlights from recent issues of APHA's American Journal of Public Health
Author:Barna, Mark
Publication:The Nation's Health
Date:Jun 1, 2019
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