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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
MARYLAND: Medicaid Family Planning Benefits to Expand in Maryland
Brian Witte
January 3, 2012
Associated Press (12.28.11) - Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Policy changes taking effect with the new year will allow more low-income Maryland women to access family planning services through Medicaid. Under the expanded program, women who are at or below 200 percent of the poverty level and who are under age 51 are eligible for contraceptive prescriptions and counseling, pelvic exams, and testing for STDs, breast and reproductive cancer, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Previously, women became eligible for the services only after having their first baby. According to an analysis by the Maryland Department of Legislative Services, the state is preparing to enroll up to 31,191 eligible women - a 177 percent increase. Budget analysts said the average Medicaid birth costs the state about $19,000. Expanding women's access to the services is expected "to save between $20 [million] and $40 million a year, depending on how many people get involved," said Del. Heather Mizeur (D-Montgomery), who sponsored the measure in the House of Delegates.