Thursday, January 27, 2011
Simplified Process for States to Expand Medicaid Family Planning Services Could Improve Reproductive Health and Save Costs
Guttmacher News Release: MAJOR GAINS SEEN FOR STATES THAT TAKE UP NEW AUTHORITY TO EXPAND MEDICAID FAMILY PLANNING SERVICES:
State-by-State Analysis Projects Significant Improvements in Reproductive Health Outcomes, Major Savings for State Medicaid Programs
A groundbreaking provision included in the March 2010 health care reform law greatly simplifies the process by which a state may expand eligibility for family planning services under its Medicaid program. Using this new authority, individual states could avert thousands of unintended pregnancies, births and abortions, and realize millions of dollars in net savings, according to a new Guttmacher Institute report.
Up to now, Medicaid family planning expansions have been technically considered temporary experiments. The first such “demonstration” programs were approved in the 1990s, and over the years, a large body of evaluation research has shown that they expand low-income women’s access to contraceptive services. By doing so, the programs help more women to avoid pregnancies they do not want and boost maternal and child health by permitting women to better space their births. . . .