Medi-Cal's family planning program costs significantly less to administer than the state and federal governments would pay for services arising from unintended births that the program helps prevent, researchers report in a Health Services Research study. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
Researchers found that the family planning project, called Family PACT, prevented an estimated:
- 205,000 unintended pregnancies;
- 94,000 live births; and
- 79,000 abortions.
The program cost about $403.8 million over five years, but authors estimate that it reduces government spending by billions of dollars over the long and short term.
The study concludes that these savings highlight the need to expand access to existing family planning programs, either through Medicaid or other public funding sources (Amaral et al., Health Services Research, October 2007). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.