Medicaid family planning services

Section 2303 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act creates a state option to expand Medicaid eligibility for family planning coverage. Prior to PPACA's passage, many states, including Arkansas, already had expanded eligibility by obtaining a Medicaid waiver, which is a more arduous process than changing eligibility through a state plan amendment.

Arkansas Implementation

Arkansas's waiver, originally approved in 1996, provides family planning coverage to women with incomes up to 200% of the federal poverty level. (Medicaid had previously covered women up to 133% of FPL.) Medicaid pays for family planning services, including pelvic exams and contraceptives. Over the course of one year, (April 1, 2009 to March 31, 2010), the waiver program spent about $13 million to pay for family planning services for nearly 88,000 women with incomes between 133% and 200% FPL. About $11.7 million was paid using federal funds, and $1.3 million was paid using state funds.

Because Arkansas already has a waiver to provide these services, the state Medicaid program does not intend to immediately seek a state plan amendment.