THURSDAY, April 2, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Disruptions in insurance coverage around the time of pregnancy disproportionately affect indigenous, Hispanic, and black non-Hispanic women, according to a study published in the April issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Jamie R. Daw, Ph.D., from Columbia University in New York City, and colleagues analyzed survey data from 107,921 women in 40 states participating in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Pregnancy Risk Assessment and Monitoring System (2015 to 2017) to assess the frequency of insurance gaps and transitions (disruptions) at preconception, at delivery, and postpartum.

The researchers found that for each perinatal time point, all categories of racial/ethnic-minority women experienced higher rates of uninsurance compared with white non-Hispanic women. From preconception to postpartum, three-quarters of white non-Hispanic women had continuous insurance versus 55.4 percent of black non-Hispanic women, 49.9 percent of indigenous women, and 20.5 percent of Hispanic Spanish-speaking women. Lower-income Hispanic women and indigenous women had a significantly higher predicted probability of uninsurance in the preconception and postpartum periods versus white non-Hispanic women in adjusted models.

“Differential insurance coverage may have important implications for racial-ethnic disparities in access to perinatal care and maternal-infant health,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical and health insurance companies.

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