Does Medicaid cover abortion costs?

If you recently discovered that you’re pregnant, you’re likely weighing your options and seeking answers to important questions. If you’re considering abortion as an option, one of your questions might be, “does Medicaid cover abortion costs?” Throughout this post, you’ll find the answer as well as related information.

What is Medicaid?

Medicaid is a federal and state program that helps cover medical costs for qualifying individuals who have limited income and resources. It also offers benefits that are not normally covered by Medicare, such as personal care services. Medicaid provides free health insurance to 74 million low-income and disabled Americans.

Why do states all have different rules regarding insurance coverage and abortions?

Medicaid is a federal-state partnership. Under the Hyde Amendment, federal Medicaid funds cannot be used for abortion unless the case involves rape, incest, or life endangerment. States are required to cover abortions under these circumstances, but all states are free to choose whether they cover abortions with their own funds in other circumstances.

In what states does Medicaid cover abortion costs in all cases?

The following states fund most or all medically necessary abortions, which exceeds federal requirements:

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • Vermont
  • Washington

This does not mean that all abortions are covered under Medicaid in these states, but those that are deemed medically necessary.

In what states does Medicaid not cover abortion costs?

The following states only meet the minimum federal requirements, providing funding in cases of rape, life endangerment, and incest:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

In Arizona, a law that defines “medically necessary” is permanently blocked, so Medicaid coverage for abortions is extremely rare in that state. In South Dakota, the state only pays for abortions when they are needed to protect the mother’s life.

Are there special circumstances where Medicaid will cover abortion costs?

In certain states, Medicaid covers abortion costs if other exceptions are met. If the case involves physical health issues, the following states provide funding:

  • Indiana
  • Utah
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

 In cases of fetal impairment, the following states provide funding for abortion:

  • Iowa
  • Mississippi
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia

How much does an abortion cost out of pocket?

In cases when Medicaid does not cover abortion costs, abortion costs are high. Depending on the progress of the pregnancy, there are two abortion methods: the abortion pill or a surgical abortion procedure. An abortion pill, which can be taken up to 10 weeks into the pregnancy, costs between $300 and $800. That cost is based on multiple factors, such as where you are located and how far along your pregnancy is. The second option is a surgical procedure, which is done after the pregnancy has advanced beyond 10 weeks and can cost thousands of dollars. There are other expenses to consider as well, including travel expenses, the cost of anesthesia which is often not included in abortion procedure costs, and lost wages because of recovery time.

Knowing how much an abortion will cost can be especially tricky, given the differences in Medicaid coverage across states. Any woman who is pregnant and considering abortion should learn about the costs and risks that come with both the pill and the surgical procedure.