State Coverage of Preventive Services for Women under Medicaid: Findings from a State-Level Survey
Medicaid is a critical source of health coverage and long-term care for millions of low-income women. Federal Medicaid rules require that the program cover many, but not all, important preventive screening services, but states also have considerable latitude in establishing which preventive services are covered for adults and whether or not to charge enrollees copayments for these services. As such, there is sizable variability by state in Medicaid coverage of preventive services for adults. As of 2014, these state policy choices will affect millions more women who will be newly eligible for Medicaid after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The ACA will also provide an enhanced federal matching payment to state Medicaid programs that cover certain recommended preventive services without cost-sharing starting in 2013. The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured (KCMU) and Health Management Associates (HMA) surveyed Medicaid officials in all 50 states and the District of Columbia in 2010 to collect baseline data on state coverage of preventive services prior to ACA implementation. This brief reviews Medicaid’s role in covering preventive care for women, presents findings of importance to women from the survey, and discusses the implications for women on Medicaid following the implementation of health reform.