Massachusetts Women and Access/Barriers to Contraception

In Access to contraception after health care reform in Massachusetts: a mixed-methods study investigating benefits and barriers, published in Contraception, Amanda Dennis, et al, investigate how the 2006 Massachusetts health care reform legislation aimed at improving access to health care for residents affected contraceptive access for low-income women.

Authors analyzed 16 in-depth interviews with family planning providers, 9 focus group discussions with 52 low-income English and Spanish-speaking women, 10 self-administered surveys of family planning administrators and a systematic review of Web sites for government-subsidized insurance plans.

Interviews with family planning providers showed that a high number of providers reported frequent provision of contraception on a sliding-fee scale for clients who have experienced barriers accessing it elsewhere, regardless of the woman’s insurance status or her ability to pay. Results also evidenced that family planning providers played a critical role helping clients navigate the insurance paperwork.

Focus group outcomes indicated that Massachusetts women relied on family planning providers to help them access contraception whenever they did not have insurance, could not afford their preferred method or faced other challenges to contraceptive access. Also, while most focus group participants reported that they had reliable and affordable access to prescription and nonprescription methods before state policy reform, even after reform it appears that family planning providers continue to play a role in ensuring access to contraception.

While most low-income women continue to regularly obtain contraception, challenges such as maintaining insurance coverage, understanding benefits, securing an appointment with a provider and obtaining prescriptions were identified post-reform.  Findings about contraceptive affordability under reform were mixed.

One Response to Massachusetts Women and Access/Barriers to Contraception

  1. cool i love these, good job! cool amazing i love this, great work!

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