A new report released by the Guttmacher Institute has found that Medicaid programs across the country have helped to greatly increase the amount of money states spend on family planning.
Public funding for family planning services reached nearly $2.4 billion in fiscal year 2010, according to new Guttmacher Institute research. Medicaid, the joint federal-state insurance program for millions of low-income individuals and families, accounted for 75% ($1.8 billion) of the total, compared with 12% for state-only sources and 10% for the Title X federal family planning program.
Medicaid has been responsible for almost all of the growth in publicly funded family planning services since the early 1990s. Under Medicaid, family planning services—including the provision of contraceptive drugs and devices, client counseling and education, and related tests and treatment for issues such as sexually transmitted infections—are covered for enrollees.
“The recent growth in family planning expenditures through Medicaid mirrors broader growth in this huge public insurance program, brought on in significant part by the recessions of the past decade, during which many Americans lost employer-based private insurance coverage,” says Adam Sonfield, co-author of the new study. “Medicaid has performed admirably as a social safety-net program for low-income Americans, helping millions of women and their partners plan and space their childbearing even in times of economic hardship.”
In Florida, the state will spend about $23.4 million on family planning services through Medicaid this year. Local governments will receive about $5.3 million this year– $1 million of which comes from a federal grant.
The Washington Post reports that “public funding for family planning has nearly doubled over the past two decades,” because of Medicaid spending.
Although Florida is spending more money on family planning through Medicaid than through local government grants, the state actually stripped $4.4 million for family planning from Medicaid earlier this year. Last year, the state doled out $27.8 million for family planning in Medicaid.