Advancing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

Medicaid: A Critical Source of Support for Family Planning in the United States

Medicaid is the largest source of funding for subsidized family planning services nationwide, contributing $770 million in 2001. Nationwide, nearly 11% of women of reproductive age are covered by Medicaid, ranging from 3.9% in Nevada to 19.3% in Tennessee.

In 18 states, special waiver programs extend coverage of family planning services to an estimated 1.7 million low-income individuals who otherwise would not be eligible for Medicaid. These programs have improved access to health care, broadened the geographic availability of services, expanded the diversity of family planning providers, reduced unintended pregnancy and resulted in significant savings to both the federal and state governments.

"Medicaid: A Critical Source of Support for Family Planning in the United States," examines:

  • the extent to which women of reproductive age in each state rely on Medicaid for their care;
  • family planning's unique preferential status under Medicaid;
  • the range of family planning services covered by Medicaid;
  • state-initiated federal waiver programs that extend eligibility; and
  • what is known about the cost-effectiveness of family planning.

For an examination of the first national evaluation of Medicaid family planning waivers, click here.

To learn about women in need of publicly supported contraceptive services and the proportion of women of reproductive age in each state who are uninsured, click here.

To read about cuts to the Medicaid program being made by states, click here.

For an analysis of the implications of welfare reform for coverage of immigrants under Medicaid, click here.

For a review and analysis of how Medicaid support for family planning has been affected by the shift to managed care, click here.