Contraceptive Use and Pregnancy Outcomes Among Women Enrolled in South Carolina Medicaid Programs

Academic Article


  • Objective: State medicaid programs provide access to effective contraception for people with lower incomes. This study examined contraception use and pregnancy among reproductive-age women enrolled in the South Carolina Medicaid, by eligibility program and socio-demographic sub-groups. Methods: A retrospective cohort of women aged 15–45 who were newly eligible for South Carolina Medicaid from 2012 to 2016 was examined. Log-binomial regression and average marginal effects assessed relationships between contraception use and pregnancies ending in live and non-live births. Contraception was categorized as permanent, long acting reversible contraception (LARC), short-acting hormonal contraception (SAC), or no contraceptive claims. Women with family planning or full-benefit medicaid coverage were included. Results: Approximately 11% of women used LARC methods, 41% used SAC methods, and 46% had no evidence of contraceptive claims. Method utilization varied by eligibility program, race/ethnicity and age. The likelihood of pregnancy was lower among SAC users and lowest among LARC users compared to women with no evidence of contraception across all three programs (family planning APR = 0.44; 95% CI 0.41–0.49 and APR = 0.13, 95% CI 0.10–0.17; Low income families APR = 0.82; 95% CI 0.77–0.88 and APR = 0.33, 95% CI 0.28–0.38; Partners for Healthy Children APR = 0.72; 95% CI 0.68–0.77 and APR = 0.35, 95% CI 0.30–0.43, respectively). Non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic teens were less likely to experience a pregnancy than non-Hispanic white teens. Conclusions for Practice: The likelihood of pregnancy was lower among women using SAC methods and markedly lower among women using LARC. Variation in contraceptive use among racial/ethnic groups was noted despite Medicaid coverage. As new policies and initiatives emerge, these findings provide important context for understanding the role of Medicaid programs in reducing financial barriers to contraceptive services and ensuring access to effective contraception, while fostering reproductive health autonomy among women.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Hale N; Manalew WS; Leinaar E; Smith M; Sen B; Sharma P; Khoury A
  • Start Page

  • 1960
  • End Page

  • 1971
  • Volume

  • 25
  • Issue

  • 12