The Effects of Medicaid Expansion on Women's Health
MetadataShow full item record
Purpose: The purpose of this review is to identify how Medicaid expansion has impacted women's health. Before the expansion, patients from all states could qualify for coverage based on factors such as income, household size, disability, and family status. When certain states expanded Medicaid, this allowed for coverage based solely on income, improving enrollment rates. Methods: A literature search through various journals was utilized using terms such as Medicaid expansion, women's health, and maternal health. The goal was to find resources regarding the intersection between Medicaid, Medicaid expansion, and women's health. Results: In addition to allowing more reproductive-aged women to enroll, Medicaid expansion is associated with an overall increase in coverage, quality of care, and services for women. Specifically, it increased coverage of preconception, perinatal, and postpartum care, while lowering maternal mortality rates. However, the effects of expansion on breast and cervical cancer screening rates is uncertain. Some studies showed an increase in cancer screening rates; however, those that showed no significant change related it to barriers to access and supply of primary care providers available. Conclusions: Medicaid expansion has brought about favorable outcomes in women's health. Overall the number of women eligible for Medicaid coverage in participating states has expanded. It has improved maternal health and mortality and may show positive trends towards increasing cervical and breast cancer screening rates. Further research on variables such as ethnic and racial disparities, access to care, and physician availability may provide further insight into the differences between expansion and nonexpansion states.