Medicaid aims to help people with low-incomes or who are uninsured get the health care coverage they need and deserve. It also covers critical primary and preventive care services — including birth control, family planning, STD testing, well-woman exams, and lifesaving cancer screenings.
The Largest Reproductive Health Care Source
Of the more than 74 million people on Medicaid, nearly 17 million are non-elderly women who depend on it as their primary source of essential health care. That makes Medicaid the country’s single largest source of reproductive health care coverage.
In fact, Medicaid covers one out of every five American women of reproductive age. For these women, Medicaid makes the difference between access to basic care, like birth control — or doing without.
Saving Taxpayer Dollars
Beyond helping people get the care they need, this government-funded health insurance program is also a great investment of taxpayer dollars. In 2010 (the most recent year for which comprehensive data are available), family planning services funded by public programs (like Medicaid and Title X) saved taxpayers $13.6 billion. In 2010 alone, publicly funded family planning services helped women prevent more than 2 million unintended pregnancies. Without these services, rates of unintended pregnancy and abortion in the U.S. would each have been 68% higher.
Medicaid is also important to Planned Parenthood patients. More than half of Planned Parenthood’s patients rely on Medicaid for preventative health care services like birth control, STD/HIV testing, and lifesaving cancer screenings. And despite operating only 11% of the country’s publicly funded family planning health centers, Planned Parenthood provides health services to more than 36% of women receiving publicly funded family planning care. Clearly, both Medicaid and Planned Parenthood play a critical role in ensuring people get the health care they need. For Planned Parenthood patients, this means birth control access to plan their pregnancies and their future. It means getting cancer screenings and STI tests that save lives.