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Medicaid Turns 40: What You Didn't Know About This Vital Source of Family Planning Funding

July 29, 2005

Medicaid, the joint federal-state program that finances health services for over 52 million low-income individuals in the United States each year, turns 40 this month. Enacted in 1965, Medicaid has become increasingly important over the years and is now the single largest source of public dollars supporting family planning services and supplies nationwide.

In 2003, the most recent year for which data are available, 7.1 million women of reproductive age (15–44)—12% of all women in that age group—relied on Medicaid for care. For poor women, the proportion is even higher—37% of women of reproductive age in families with incomes below the federal poverty line were enrolled in Medicaid.

Why is Medicaid coverage for family planning services so important?

Click on the links below to learn more about publicly funded family planning services and the Medicaid program.

Public Funding for Contraceptive, Sterilization and Abortion Services, FY 1980–2001

Doing More For Less: Study Says State Medicaid Family Planning Expansions are Cost-Effective

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