Background: In the years immediately following the Affordable Care Act (ACA)'s contraceptive coverage requirement, out-of-pocket costs fell for all Food and Drug Administration–approved contraceptive methods and use of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) increased. This analysis examines whether these trends have continued through 2020 for privately insured women. Methods: Using 2006–2020 MarketScan data, we examined trends in prescription contraceptive use and out-of-pocket costs among women 13 to 49 years old. Multivariable analyses model the likelihood of contraceptive use and paying $0 post-ACA requirement (vs. pre-ACA requirement) for contraception, controlling for age group, U.S. region, urban versus rural, and cohort year. Results: The likelihood of LARC insertion increased post-ACA requirement (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.127, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.121–1.133), with insertion rates peaking at 3.73% for intrauterine devices (IUDs) and 1.08% for implants in 2019, before declining with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Although the likelihood of paying $0 for LARC increased after the ACA requirement (IUD: aOR 5.495, 95% CI 5.278–5.716; implant: aOR 7.199, 95% CI 6.992–7.412), the proportion of individuals paying $0 declined to 69% for IUDs and 73% for implants in 2020, after having peaked at 88% in 2014 and 90% in 2016, respectively. For oral contraceptives, both use (aOR 1.028, 95% CI 1.026–1.030) and paying $0 (aOR 20.399, 95% CI 20.301–20.499) increased significantly after the ACA requirement. Conclusion: With the exception of oral contraceptives, the proportion of individuals paying $0 for all contraceptive methods declined after peaking in 2014 for IUDs, 2016 for the implant, and 2019 for non-LARC methods. Future monitoring is needed to understand the continuing impact of the ACA requirement on prescription contraceptive use and costs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-13
Number of pages7
JournalWomen's Health Issues
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Maternity and Midwifery

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