The Impact of Medicaid Expansion on Early Prenatal Care and Health Outcomes

Health Care Financing Review--March 2003
Vol. 19, No. 4
March 2003
Epstein, A.M. and J.P. Newhouse
pp. 85-99

To assess the impact of Medicaid expansion for pregnant women in South Carolina and California, the authors compared change in rates of timely prenatal care, adverse infant and maternal health outcomes, and use of cesarean section for groups of pregnant women who were either uninsured or covered by Medicaid, versus women with private coverage. The results showed small and/or inconsistent changes. Provision of coverage may be the first logical step in improving health care for the uninsured, but outcomes may rely more on outreach, coordination of care, and nonmedical interventions than on provision of insurance coverage per se.

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