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Objectives. This paper examines the impact of state expansions in eligibility for Medicaid family planning services on the utilization of women's preventive care.
Methods. I examine the effect of the expansions on the use of Pap tests, clinical breast exams (CBEs), HIV testing and routine doctor check-ups among women ages 21-44 using the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (1993-2009). I use variation in eligibility for the expansions across states, time and household income level to identify the effect of the policy on utilization. Results. Among women eligible for services, I find a 3% increase in the receipt of a Pap test within the last three years and a 3% increase in the receipt of a CBE under the expansions. Women eligible for Medicaid are less likely to use preventive care than higher income women but the expansions narrowed the gap in service use by 1/5th for CBEs and 1/3rd for Pap tests. I find no change in HIV testing or routine check-ups under the expansions.
Conclusions. Recommended breast and cervical cancer screenings increased among low-income women under state expansions for Medicaid family planning services.
Country of focus: United States of America.