Does Medicaid Cover Abortions?

Does Medicaid Cover Abortions & How To Apply for Coverage?

Last Updated on February 28, 2022 by Anne-Sophie Reinhardt

Medicaid covers abortions differently depending on where you live in the United States. Federal and state regulations, and other insurance coverage regulations are limiting Medicaid’s coverage of abortion procedures.

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Many states don’t offer Medicaid coverage to thousands of women who are in desperate need of abortion services, even if the pregnancy is considered a danger to their lives. Some states in the United States, however, go above and beyond these federal restrictions and pay State funds for abortions of Medicaid-enrolled women.

What Is an Abortion?

A termination of pregnancy is also known as the removal of the fetus/embryo before the embryo or fetus can become self-sufficient. In humans, it usually occurs at the 20th week. You can induce abortion by using artificial methods, or you may have an abortion naturally, which is known as miscarriage.

There are many reasons that spontaneous abortions can occur, such as genetic defects, trauma or biochemical incompatibility. Sometimes, missed abortion may happen, in which a fetus dies in the uterus and cannot be removed.

Does Medicaid Covers Abortions? – Different Policies in Coverage Across US

While more than a third of abortion patients have signed up for Medicaid, the Hyde Amendment restrictions mean that most are still not able to access Medicaid. The Hyde Amendment prohibited the use of Medicaid dollars to fund abortion procedures since 1977.

The topic of abortion coverage was a central issue in many of the debates that led to the passage the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It also led to renewed legislative efforts at the state level to limit Medicaid’s coverage of abortions.

The District of Columbia, along with the other 33 States, only covers abortions under their Medicaid plans if the pregnancy poses a risk to the mother’s well-being or is the result of incest/rape. The remaining 16 states use Medicaid to cover all medically necessary abortion procedures. South Dakota is in violation of federal law when it restricts abortion coverage to put the mother’s well-being at risk.

Research shows that 53% of abortion patients pay out-of-pocket. Medicaid came in second place, accounting for approximately 24% of national abortion coverage. In 2014, however, Medicaid paid only 1.5% for abortions in the US States that follow the Hyde Amendment.

52% of patients who were not following the Hyde Amendment used Medicaid in 2014. The same year, 89% enrolled in Medicaid as abortion patients and have their procedure paid by insurance.

Applying for Medicaid Coverage for Abortion

You can apply by phone or mail if you are eligible for Medicaid in the majority of US States. However, we recommend you visit the office in person and make an appointment early. This is the fastest way to enroll and will guarantee you get enrolled quickly.

If you apply, make sure you tell the caseworker you are pregnant to speed up the process. But you don’t have to tell that you plan to have an abortion after your Medicaid coverage is over.

It is important to know that Federal Poverty Laws determines Medicaid eligibility. You can still qualify for Medicaid coverage in States that have Medicaid. However, you must be at least 18 years old to obtain coverage.

If you are not a resident of one of the 16 states that offer Medicaid coverage for abortion, but you haven’t signed up for Medicaid, you’ll only get coverage if the pregnancy poses a risk to your health or is the result of incest or sexual abuse.

Which Abortion Procedures Medicaid Cover?

Abortion Pill

Because it is cheap, the abortion pill has been clinically proven to be the best option. To end a pregnancy, this technique involves two pills: Cytotec (misoprostol), and Mifeprex(Mifepristone).

This procedure is only allowed to be done up until the 10th week. Mifeprex blocks progesterone hormone. Without this hormone, the embryo cannot attach to the uterus or grow. On the other hand, Cytotec is taken just a few days before Mifeprex. Cytotec causes the uterus to shrink and pushes out the pregnancy tissue when taken.

Surgical Abortion

Vacuum Aspiration

Vacuum aspiration is only allowed during the first trimester or the early part of the second trimester. The physician will give you drugs to numb your cervix and then insert a tube which will allow the doctor to suction the fetus.

Dilation and Evacuation (D&E)

The physicians apply anesthetic to the cervix to numb it, and open the cervix using a dilator. They then insert a thin tube, and connect it to a suction machine. This removes all uterine contents.

Surgery is safe and takes only 20 minutes. Medicaid approved hospitals and clinics that can perform surgical procedures. Once the procedure is completed, you can return home. A follow-up appointment can be scheduled with either a general practitioner or a gynaecologist at the clinic.

Medicaid Coverage for Abortion

Medicaid coverage for abortion costs can be a soothing solution to an already nerve-racking process. You should verify the abortion coverage laws of the state where you live. You can check to see if you are covered. If not, there are other options.

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