does pre-pregnancy Medicaid coverage make a difference?
OBJECTIVES: To examine pre-pregnancy Medicaid coverage and initiation of prenatal care among women likely eligible for Medicaid coverage regardless of pregnancy. METHODS: The Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) was used to identify very low-income women with Medicaid payment for delivery. We then compared prenatal care initiation among women with (Non-GAP) and without (Medicaid GAP) pre-pregnancy Medicaid coverage. RESULTS: Rates of first trimester prenatal care were 47.3% for women in the Medicaid GAP, 70.0% for women who were not. The adjusted odds ratio for being in the Medicaid GAP and delayed prenatal care was 2.7 (95% CI 1.2, 6.2), although this varied by race/ethnicity and education. The relationship was strongest among White and Hispanic women with less than a high school education: OR=13.8, (95% CI 3.0, 62.7) and OR=19.0 (95% CI 2.4, 149.2), respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Pre-pregnancy Medicaid coverage appears to be associated with early initiation of prenatal car