Medicaid funding of family planning care is critical to ensuring access to high-quality, confidential family planning and sexual health services and supplies for poor and low-income individuals. Medicaid has been the predominant funding source (75%) for publicly funded family planning care since the 1980s, particularly in states that have expanded their Medicaid eligibility for family planning. Medicaid’s importance in providing publicly funded family planning care will continue to grow under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), as many states expand their Medicaid programs to Americans with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty level (FPL).
Medicaid-funded family planning is proven to save taxpayer dollars by expanding access to contraception and increasing women’s use of more effective contraceptive methods - essential factors in reducing high rates of unintended pregnancy among low-income women. Federal law requires that Medicaid-funded family planning be exempt from cost-sharing requirements, such as deductibles and co-pays, and provides that most Medicaid managed care enrollees can receive family planning services from any provider (a provision referred to as "freedom of choice"), even if their provider of choice is outside of their managed care network.