Governor Whitmer and MDHHS seek approval to expand access to free family planning services to 25,000 Michigan residents, saving women up to $2,000 a year


October 10, 2022

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Governor Whitmer and MDHHS seek approval to expand access to free family planning services to 25,000 Michigan residents, saving women up to $2,000 a year

Plan first! authorization would be based on commitment to provide critically important coverage to women and families

LANSING, Mich. – Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced that they are seeking approval for an initiative called “Plan First!” This would expand access to family planning services. Doing this would provide 25,000 Michiganders with free birth control, cancer screenings, STI/STD tests, and more, saving them up to $2,000 a year.

“All women and families should have the resources they need to decide when and if they want to start a family,” said Governor Whitmer. “Expanding Access to Family Planning Coverage with Plan First!” at 25,000 Michiganders would protect bodily autonomy and enhance reproductive freedom and save people up to $2,000 a year. Services would vary widely, from birth control and cancer screening to STI screening and diagnostic services. As some hardline politicians attempt to suppress access to reproductive health care, I will continue to work to protect and expand it. These services are essential to help people live and plan their lives, and I will continue to fight like hell for Michiganders to have reproductive freedom and quality, affordable health care.

“Family planning contributes to improved health outcomes for infants, children, women and families,” said MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel. “For many women, this is their entry point into the healthcare system. Plan first! is another important step in our efforts to increase access to health care coverage.

Plan first! Background

Plan first! A family planning program would allow more women and families to have access to high-quality reproductive health care, including birth control at low or no cost. Family planning is a public health service that enables women and couples to have healthier pregnancies, plan and space births, and achieve desired family size.

Currently, women in Michigan can access low-cost or free family planning services through the Michigan Family Planning Program and the Healthy Michigan Plan, the state’s expanded Medicaid program. However, about 25,000 Michiganders are not eligible for income eligibility for Healthy Michigan or traditional Medicaid, but have incomes below 200% of the federal poverty level, currently $36,620 per year for a two-person household.

MDHHS is seeking approval from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide family planning coverage to these 25,000 Michiganders by pursuing an amendment to its State Medicaid Plan, saving them up to $2,000 per year.

Plan First saves 25,000 Michigan residents $2,000 per year and provides:

  • Initial and annual physical exams related to reproductive health and family planning options, including patient education and counseling.
  • Screening for breast and cervical cancers.
  • Sexually transmitted infections and HIV testing and testing.
  • Sterilization service.
  • Laboratory services related to family planning.
  • Medical, diagnostic, and treatment services deemed necessary during a family planning visit, such as treatment for sexually transmitted infections or diseases or vaccinations for cervical cancer.

Expanding coverage of family planning services expands the reach of Governor Whitmer’s efforts to boost access to contraception in Michigan, building on a recent Medicaid policy establishing coverage of a 12-year supply. birth control month.

Michigan has a long history of quality family planning services and offers Plan First! family planning before 2016. The new Plan First! The Family Planning Policy – ​​if approved – is expected to come into effect in the spring of 2023. Details will be provided at that time on how to apply.

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