DES MOINES, Iowa — A new report from the Iowa Department of Human Services shows the number of people using the state’s Family Planning Program has drastically decreased from just under 6,000 members in 2017 to about 1,500 members in 2018.
Governor Kim Reynolds said this change is due to a shift.
“So there maybe has been a drop in the family services, but if you look at the family services provided through Medicaid we’ve actually seen an increase in the number served and the resources provided. So we need to take a look at that we need to take a look at how it’s currently being distributed we need to take a look at what the gaps are and what we need to do differently,” Gov. Reynolds said.
During that same time frame, the report shows people using Medicaid’s family planning services has increased by about two percent.
Planned Parenthood said because overall Medicaid users increased by four percent they believe the increase doesn’t verify that there was a shift.
“So you would anticipate some growth in medicaid overall but frankly the growth in family planning services provided in medicaid is much slower than that of the medicaid growth overall and so it just does not bear out the assertion that folks are being served in medicaid instead of the family planning program,” Iowa Executive Director of Planned Parenthood North Central States Erin Davison-Rippey said.
Reynolds said the state isn’t done examining all the data surrounding the issue.
“We need to take a look at that and see what’s happening, better understand it, find out why, where the gaps are at and what we need to do differently to address that,” Reynolds said.
Legislation cut Planned Parenthood out of the program in 2017 and organization leaders said they think this decrease shows there are now huge gaps in access and because of that providers are already seeing negative health effects like the rise in STI’s across the state.
“Without our ability to provide services under this program, participation rates have dropped, access is decimated and we appreciate the director mentioning that there is a need to figure out how to best serve Iowans and we need to be a part of that solution,” Davison-Rippey said.