Health insurance coverage and prescription contraceptive use among young women at risk for unintended pregnancy.

BACKGROUND: This study investigates the relationships between health insurance coverage and prescription contraceptive use among women 18-24 years of age at risk for unintended pregnancy.
STUDY DESIGN: Data from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth were analyzed. The sample comprised 1049 women 18-24 years of age at risk for unintended pregnancy. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was employed to examine the likelihood of prescription contraceptive use (1) between uninsured women versus ones with private insurance, Medicaid or another form of government insurance and (2) between those who had consistent versus inconsistent insurance coverage, after adjusting for a range of sociodemographic and sexual health factors.
RESULTS: Twenty percent of the participants were uninsured and over 30% had inconsistent coverage. Only 55% were currently using prescription contraceptives. In multivariate analyses, young women with private insurance or Medicaid were more likely than the uninsured to use prescription contraceptives. No significant differences in prescription contraceptive use were found between other forms of government insurance and uninsurance or between consistent and inconsistent coverage.
CONCLUSIONS: Access to comprehensive health insurance should be considered one strategy to address the high rates of unintended pregnancy among this vulnerable population.