Changes in prescription contraceptive use, 1995-2002: The effect of insurance status

Kelly R. Culwell, Joe Feinglass*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To examine changes in prescription contraception use between 1995 and 2002 by insurance status among women at risk for unintended pregnancy. METHODS: Data from the National Survey of Family Growth, including 4,767 women at risk of unintended pregnancy in 1995 and 3,569 in 2002, were used to evaluate changes in primary contraception methods by health insurance status and year of survey. Logistic regression models tested differences in the likelihood of prescription contraceptive use among privately insured, publicly insured, and uninsured women in each year, after controlling for age, race and ethnicity, education, income, employment, marital status, number of children, religion, and self reported overall health. RESULTS: Overall prescription contraceptive use increased between 1995 and 2002 by 3% (48.9% to 51.9%, P=.049). Nonuse of contraception also increased (11.6% to 16.1%, P<.001). The change in the likelihood of prescription contraceptive use was greatest and only significant among privately insured women (+5.5%, P=.002). In multiple regression analysis, women in 1995 were 10% less likely to report use of prescription contraceptives compared with women in 2002 (relative risk 0.90, 95% confidence interval 0.82-0.98), and uninsured women were more than 20% less likely to report prescription contraceptive use compared with privately insured women (relative risk 0.78, 95% confidence interval 0.67-0.90). CONCLUSION: Prescription contraceptive use increased most significantly among privately insured women between 1995 and 2002, potentially reflecting state mandates enacted during that period requiring contraceptive coverage by private insurers. It is important for clinicians to understand these differences and address issues of insurance coverage with patients when discussing contraceptive options.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1371-1378
Number of pages8
JournalObstetrics and gynecology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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