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Nearly Two-Thirds of Those Who Could Lose Coverage Under Mandatory “Work Requirements” Are Women

WASHINGTON — Planned Parenthood Federation of America condemned the Trump administration’s latest attempt to take health care coverage away from millions of the most vulnerable Americans, including a disproportionate number of women. By implementing Medicaid enrollment restrictions that mandate work requirements, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is encouraging states to narrow eligibility and limit enrollment into the program. For example, this could threaten the health care of women who gained coverage under Medicaid expansion,  women who provide home care for ill family members, and women who have chronic illness. This also puts additional burdens on those who face other barriers to work like transportation, housing, and education. With about one in five women of reproductive age relying on Medicaid for their health care and women accounting for approximately 62 percent of Medicaid enrollees who could lose coverage because of this enrollment restriction, this change will especially hurt women, particularly those who already face the highest barriers to care. More than half of women who have Medicaid coverage are women of color, making this a direct attack on communities of color’s ability to access essential and lifesaving health care.

It is also important to note that the vast majority of Medicaid enrollees who can work outside of the home do. According to Health Affairs, 87 percent of Medicaid expansion enrollees are already working, in school, or looking for work. If they don’t work it is likely the result of a major impediment. 

Statement from Dana Singiser, Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs:

This is the latest example that this administration does not value the lives or health of women. These discriminatory new Medicaid enrollment restrictions will hurt women the most. Women are more likely to work inside the home providing informal and undervalued care to children, spouses, or parents. And it could cost many women access to basic family planning like birth control.

“The Medicaid program is designed to help people who already face the greatest barriers to health care stay healthy and treat chronic conditions that might keep them from working. Having access to health care, including birth control and other family planning services, makes it easier for women to find and keep jobs, which in turn benefits their children and families. For example, nearly 75 percent of unemployed Medicaid expansion enrollees in Ohio who were looking for work reported that having health coverage made it easier to seek employment.

“Let’s be clear: This action is a dangerous attack on the heart of the Medicaid program.  This administration is punishing women and by design women will lose access to health care. Americans will not stand for this blow to our health care system.


  • Medicaid is a critical source of health coverage for women.
    • Women are the majority of Medicaid enrollees.
    • Medicaid covers one in five women of reproductive age (15-44).
    • Due to racism and other systemic barriers that have contributed to income inequality, women of color disproportionately comprise the Medicaid population.
      • For example, 30 percent of African-American women and 24 percent of Hispanic women are enrolled in Medicaid, compared to only 14 percent of white women.
  • Medicaid covers more women’s health services than any other payer.
  • Medicaid work requirements disproportionately hurt women.
    • Most Medicaid enrollees who can work outside of the home do. According to Health Affairs, 87 percent of Medicaid expansion enrollees are already working, in school, or looking for work. If they don’t work it is likely the result of a major impediment.
    • For women who face other barriers to work like transportation, housing, education, this restriction essentially prevents them from accessing health care.
    • Almost two-thirds (62 percent) of those who could lose Medicaid coverage due to work requirements are women.


Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.


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