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Joerg Dreweke
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IMPORTANCE OF MEDICAID-FUNDED FAMILY PLANNING SERVICES IN EACH STATE DETAILED IN NEW FACT SHEETS

As Medicaid Takes Increasingly Central Role in U.S. Family Planning Effort, New Tool Helps Document Program's Reach and Benefits

Medicaid, the public insurance program for poor and low-income Americans, has become the central pillar of the U.S. family planning effort, accounting for 75% ($1.8 billion) of all public family planning spending in fiscal year 2010. New Guttmacher Institute fact sheets offer a comprehensive national primer and provide state-specific <http://www.guttmacher.org/statecenter/medicaid/> (removed) details on the reach and impact of Medicaid-supported family planning services, including:

  • the importance in each state of Medicaid for family planning, including the number and proportion of reproductive-age women enrolled in Medicaid and thereby guaranteed coverage for family planning services and supplies; total Medicaid expenditures for family planning services; and the number of uninsured women who stand to become newly eligible for Medicaid in 2014 under health care reform;
  • the need in each state for the family planning services that Medicaid helps to support, including the number of women in need of publicly funded family planning services; and numbers and rates of unintended pregnancies, births and abortions for all women and for teens; and
  • the impact in each state of the clinic services that Medicaid helps to support, including unintended pregnancies, births and abortions averted by these services; and estimated increases in unintended pregnancy, abortion and teen pregnancy that would occur in the absence of these services.

The set of 51 state-level fact sheets (including the District of Columbia) also offers a wealth of additional information from states that have used various strategies to provide Medicaid family planning services for clients with incomes well above the states' cut-offs for Medicaid eligibility overall. Together, these expansions (currently in place in about half the states) constituted 36% of total Medicaid family planning expenditures in fiscal year 2010 and serve about 2.7 million clients annually. The fact sheets include national background on these expansions and, where available, state-specific indicators such as:

  • information on streamlined enrollment strategies used in expansion states;
  • findings on the impact of expanded coverage; and
  • estimates of the potential gains foregone by states that have not expanded services or have not made full use of their authority to expand

"The fact sheets underscore the extent to which Medicaid is and will remain a critical source of family planning services in every state," says Adam Sonfield, senior public policy associate at Guttmacher. "As detailed in these fact sheets and documented in numerous studies, Medicaid is essential in addressing the vital needs of millions of low-income women and couples—and, in doing so, it pays considerable dividends for individuals, families, government and society as a whole."

Click here for "The Central Role of Medicaid in the Nation's Family Planning Effort," by Adam Sonfield.

Also see these additional resources:

Facts on Publicly Funded Contraceptive Services in the United States
Estimating the Impact of Expanding Medicaid Eligibility For Family Planning Services: 2011 Update
Medicaid Family Planning Expansions: Lessons Learned and Implications for the Future
Guttmacher's State Center
Guttmacher's Data Center

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