Objectives: The Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive coverage mandate issued in August 2012 requires most private health insurance plans to cover all U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptive methods without cost sharing. We evaluate the impact of this policy on out-of-pocket costs and use of long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) and other prescription methods through 2014. Methods: Data from Truven Health MarketScan were used to examine out-of-pocket costs and contraceptive use patterns for all reversible prescription contraceptives before and after the implementation of the contraceptive mandate for privately insured women ages 13 to 45. Costs were estimated by combining copayment, coinsurance, and deductible payments for both contraception and insertion fees for LARCs. Contraceptive use rates were examined and multivariable logistic regression analysis of LARC insertions before and after the ACA was conducted. Results: Out-of-pocket costs for all reversible contraceptives, including LARCs, decreased sharply after the ACA contraceptive mandate. The greatest proportion of women in each year was oral contraceptive users (24.3%-26.1%). Rates of new LARC insertions increased significantly after the ACA, when controlling for cohort year, age group, geographic region, and rural versus urban setting (adjusted odds ratio, 1.03; 95% confidence interval, 1.02-1.04). Conclusions: Our study adds to the current literature with the inclusion of 2014 data and confirms previous findings of a post-ACA decrease in out-of-pocket contraceptive costs. In addition, there was a small but statistically significant increase in LARC insertions after the ACA. This finding indicates the importance of reduced cost sharing for increasing use of the most effective contraceptives.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health(social science)
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Maternity and Midwifery