Medicaid plays a major role financing family planning services for low-income women in the United States. Family planning services are “mandatory” benefits under Medicaid and must be provided to individuals of childbearing age free of cost-sharing. There is, however, no formal federal definition of “family planning,” which has given states considerable discretion to determine the specific services covered under this benefit. Furthermore, a state may establish different coverage requirements for Medicaid funded family planning services for different eligibility pathways. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) created a new Medicaid eligibility category which has federally-specified coverage requirements for aspects of family planning (contraceptives, screening services, and counseling), but these requirements do not apply to traditional Medicaid available prior to the ACA. This has magnified the potential for variations in coverage standards for different Medicaid eligibility pathways (e.g. traditional Medicaid available prior to the ACA, ACA Medicaid expansion, or Medicaid Family …
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Medicaid Coverage of Family Planning Benefits: Results from a State Survey