Increased Access to Medicaid Had Little Effect on Pregnancy Care or Outcome

Feasibility study of the health effects of Medicaid expansions

From 1991 to 1996, investigators at Harvard Medical School examined the effects of Medicaid eligibility expansions on a range of maternal and neonatal outcomes in California and South Carolina.

This project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) national program Changes in Health Care Financing and Organization (HCFO).

Key Findings

  • The research team found that the Medicaid expansions in California and South Carolina had only a limited effect on health outcomes for both mothers and infants.

  • The investigators concluded (as they had in an earlier Massachusetts study, RWJF grant ID# 017039) that health insurance coverage expansion alone does not appear to be enough to positively affect access to prenatal care or health outcomes.

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