New blogs explore contraceptive access after Massachusetts health care reform

December 2009

Ibis’s research on low-income women’s access to contraception after Massachusetts health care reform identified many positive outcomes, including substantial evidence that many more low-income women have access to preventive and reproductive health care services. However, challenges were also discovered. These challenges are explored in blog posts on RH Reality Check by Ibis President Kelly Blanchard and Project Manager Amanda Dennis, both members of the study team that conducted the surveys with family planning providers and focus groups with low-income women. Dennis poses the question of whether low-income women can be counted as insured when they can’t afford and access care, even with insurance. 

Blanchard’s post enumerates the new challenges to contraceptive access that have arisen as a result of health care reform in the Commonwealth, including inconvenient prescription requirements, the requirement that women switch providers because their trusted provider is not covered by their health insurance plan, and confusing plan information that both providers and patients have trouble deciphering. All of these findings are important lessons that should be taken into consideration as national health care reform legislation is crafted and considered and as other states look to overhaul their own health systems.