• Article

Access for pregnant women on Medicaid Variation by race and ethnicity

Disparities in early and adequate prenatal care and infant/maternal outcomes still exist between white and nonwhite populations. Although Medicaid expansions were intended to improve outcomes, eligible women often delay enrollment and access barriers remain. This study examines racial disparities among pregnant women in Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, and Texas. The disproportionate location of minorities enrolled in Medicaid in urban areas with greater physician supply was not found to increase office-based prenatal care among blacks. More local physicians, especially foreign medical graduates, sometimes increased access, largely for Hispanics. The presence and use of safety net providers did increase prenatal care use among minorities. This evidence lends support to policies to maintain safety net providers, which are perhaps better equipped than others to serve low-income populations. However, policies should encourage participation extending to all racial/ethnic groups by office-based physicians. The role of foreign medical graduates, who are more likely to participate in Medicaid, should be considered


Adams, EK., Gavin, N., & Benedict, MB. (2005). Access for pregnant women on Medicaid: Variation by race and ethnicity. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 16(1), 74-95. https://doi.org/10.1353/hpu.2005.0001

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