The Impact of State Contraceptive Insurance Mandates

46 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2014

See all articles by Angela K. Dills

Angela K. Dills

Western Carolina University

Anca Cotet Grecu

Seton Hall University

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

Dills, Angela K. and Cotet Grecu, Anca, The Impact of State Contraceptive Insurance Mandates (February 24, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

Angela K. Dills

Western Carolina University ( email )

Cullowhee, NC 28723
United States
8282273329 (Phone)


Anca Cotet Grecu (Contact Author)

Seton Hall University ( email )

400 S Orange Avenue
South Orange, NJ 07079
United States

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