Illinois Medicaid pushes long-acting birth control

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CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn's administration wants to double down on long-acting birth control methods for the poor, hoping to save taxpayer money on unplanned pregnancies.

Officials with the Illinois Medicaid program plan to increase payments to doctors and clinics for methods such as intrauterine devices.

Dr. Melissa Gilliam is a family planning researcher at University of Chicago Medicine. She's been working with state officials to change policies on contraception. Her goal is to prevent unwanted pregnancies among teenagers.

But the Illinois Catholic Health Association is worried about a requirement in the plan for their hospitals to report annually to the state how they'll refer women elsewhere for birth control services.

The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services seeks comments by Sept. 15 on its family planning action plan.

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