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Gov. Whitmer, MDHHS Seek Approval to Expand Access to Free Family Planning Services to 25,000 Michiganders, Saving Women Up to $2,000 Annually


October 10, 2022



Gov. Whitmer, MDHHS Seek Approval to Expand Access to Free Family Planning Services to 25,000 Michiganders, Saving Women Up to $2,000 Annually

Plan First! authorization would build upon commitment to provide critically important coverage to women and families


LANSING, Mich. – Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced they are seeking approval for an initiative called “Plan First!” that would expand access to family planning services. Getting this done would offer 25,000 Michiganders free contraception, cancer screenings, STI/STD testing, and more, saving them up to $2,000 a year.


“All women and families should have the resources they need to decide when and if they want to start a family,” said Governor Whitmer. “Expanding access to family planning coverage through Plan First! to 25,000 Michiganders would protect bodily autonomy and strengthen reproductive freedom and save people up to $2,000 a year. The services would be wide-ranging, from birth control and cancer screenings to STI screenings and diagnostic services. As some extreme politicians try to take away access to reproductive health care, I will keep working to protect and expand it. These services are critical to help people live and plan their lives, and I will keep fighting like hell to ensure Michiganders have reproductive freedom and quality, affordable health care.”


“Family planning contributes to improved health outcomes for infants, children, women, and families,” said MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel. “For many women, it is their entry point into the health care system. Plan First! is another important step in our efforts to increase access to health care coverage.”


Plan First! Background

The Plan First! family planning program would allow more women and families to gain access to high quality reproductive health care, including birth control at low or no cost. Family planning is a public health service that allows women and couples to have healthier pregnancies, to help time and space births, and achieve desired family size.


Currently, women in Michigan can access low or no-cost family planning services through Michigan's Family Planning Program and through the Healthy Michigan Plan, the state's expanded Medicaid program. However, approximately 25,000 Michiganders do not qualify under the income eligibility for Healthy Michigan or traditional Medicaid but have incomes below 200% of the federal poverty level, currently $36,620 annually for a household of two.


MDHHS is seeking approval from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide family planning coverage to those 25,000 Michiganders by pursuing an amendment to its Medicaid State Plan, saving them up to $2,000 a year.


Plan First saves 25,000 Michiganders $2,000 a year and offers:

  • Initial and annual physical exams relating to reproductive health and family planning options, including patient education and counseling.
  • Breast and cervical cancer screenings.
  • Sexually transmitted infections and HIV screening and testing.
  • Sterilization services.
  • Family-planning-related laboratory services. 
  • Medical, diagnostic and treatment services that are determined to be necessary during a family planning visit, such as treatment for sexually transmitted infections or diseases or cervical cancer vaccinations.


Expanding coverage for family planning services extends the reach of Governor Whitmer’s efforts to strengthen contraception access in Michigan, building upon a recent Medicaid policy establishing coverage of a 12-month supply of birth control. 


Michigan has a long history of quality family planning services and offered Plan First! family planning prior to 2016. The new Plan First! Family Planning Policy – if approved – is expected to take effect in spring 2023. Details will be provided at that time about how to apply.