The Impact of State Contraceptive Insurance Mandates
46 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2014
Date Written: February 24, 2014
In 1998, U.S. states began legislating mandates for health insurance plans to cover contraceptives. Contraceptive insurance may reduce the cost of having sex, increasing sexual activity and pregnancy. Increased contraceptive usage may reduce pregnancies and allow women to better time pregnancies, improving infant health. We investigate these possibilities using differences-in-differences with state-specific trends. We find that the mandates increased teen sexual activity and contraceptive use. Among Hispanic teenagers, this translates to fewer births and possible reductions in delivery complications. Among non-urban teenagers, the effect of increased sexual activity dominates, leading to increases in their birth rates.
Keywords: insurance mandate, contraceptive, sex, pregnancy, abortion, birth rates, infant health, economics of the family
JEL Classification: I13, I18, J13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation