Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 22, Issue 12, pp 1771–1779 | Cite as

Ohio’s Medicaid Expansion and Unmet Health Needs Among Low-Income Women of Reproductive Age

  • Thalia P. Farietta
  • Bo Lu
  • Rachel TuminEmail author


Objective To examine changes in the prevalence and odds of unmet healthcare needs and healthcare utilization among low-income women of reproductive age (WRA) after Ohio’s 2014, ACA-associated Medicaid expansion, which extended coverage to non-senior adults with a family income ≤ 138% of the federal poverty level. Methods We analyzed publically available data from the 2012 and 2015 Ohio Medicaid Assessment Survey (OMAS), a cross-sectional telephone survey of Ohio’s non-institutionalized adult population. The study included 489 low-income women in 2012 and 1273 in 2015 aged 19–44 years who were newly eligible for Medicaid after expansion in January 2014. Four unmet healthcare need and three healthcare utilization measures were examined. We fit survey-weighted logistic regression models adjusted for race/ethnicity, working status, and educational attainment to determine whether the odds of each measure differed between 2012 and 2015. Results In 2015, low-income WRA had a significantly lower odds of reporting an unmet dental care need (ORadj = 0.72, 95% CI 0.54, 0.95), unmet vision care need (ORadj = 0.68, 95% CI 0.50, 0.93), unmet mental health need (ORadj = 0.57, 95% CI 0.39, 0.83), and unmet prescription need (ORadj = 0.39, 95% CI 0.45, 0.80) compared to 2012. There were no significant differences in the odds of seeing a doctor or dentist in the past year or of having a usual source of care for low-income WRA in 2012 and 2015. Conclusions for Practice After Ohio’s 2014 Medicaid expansion the odds of low-income WRA having unmet healthcare needs was reduced. Future research should examine outcomes after a longer period of follow-up and include additional measures, such as self-rated health status.


Medicaid expansion Unmet health needs Women of reproductive age Affordable Care Act (ACA) Ohio Medicaid Assessment Survey (OMAS) 



This study was funded by the Ohio Department of Medicaid and administered by the Ohio Colleges of Medicine Government Resource Center. The views expressed in this manuscript are solely those of the authors and do not represent the views of the state of Ohio or federal Medicaid programs.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Outcomes Research and EvaluationYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.The Ohio State University College of Public HealthColumbusUSA
  3. 3.Ohio Colleges of Medicine Government Resource CenterColumbusUSA

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