Health disparities and infertility: impacts of state-level insurance mandates

Williams College, Williamstown, New Jersey, United States
Fertility and sterility (Impact Factor: 4.3). 05/2006; 85(4):858-65. DOI: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2005.11.038
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To determine whether important racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic status (SES) health disparities exist in infertility, impaired fecundity, or infertility treatment.
Four waves of the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) were pooled. Measures were compared across various race/ethnicity, education, and age groups.
Data for 31,047 women 15-44 years old from the NSFG were pooled.
Outcomes were compared by whether the women's states of residence had a mandate in place (at least 1 year before the interview) to compel insurers to cover or offer to cover infertility treatment.
Infertility status, impaired fecundity, ever having sought infertility treatment.
Infertility is more common for non-Hispanic black women, non-Hispanic other race women, and Hispanic women than for non-Hispanic white women, and both infertility and impaired fecundity are more common for high school dropouts and high school graduates with no college than for 4-year college graduates, and for older women compared with women 29 and younger. Older women, non-Hispanic white women, and women who are more educated (with at least some college) are more likely to have ever received treatment. No evidence has been found that the racial, ethnic, or education disparities are ameliorated by the health insurance mandates.
Racial, ethnic, and educational disparities exist in infertility status and treatment, and educational disparities in impaired fecundity. More study of the impact of infertility treatment mandates on these disparities is needed.

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