The political battle over the Affordable Care Act continues to swing back and forth in Washington, but it’s consequences will be felt directly in Southeastern Michigan. Data on Medicaid payments for prenatal care and births in Southeastern Michigan make clear that the ACA, in particular the Medicaid expansion, led to an increase in federal support for prenatal care and births in our region, particularly in two counties.
Births paid for by Medicaid grew between 2010 and 2015 in Monroe and Wayne counties. In 2010, 45 percent of the births in Monroe County were paid for by Medicaid and in Wayne County that number was 46 percent. By 2015 that number increased to 49 percent in Monroe County and 56 percent in Wayne County. In that time frame Monroe County also had the largest decrease and increase. In 2013 50 percent of the births in Monroe County were paid for by Medicaid and in 2014 that number dropped to 32 percent, before increasing back to 49 percent in 2015.
According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, a Medicaid patient about $8,000 is allocated to each woman to cover prenatal, birth and postpartum care.
In 2015, according to data from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Wayne County had the highest percent of births paid for by Medicaid than any of the other counties in Southeastern Michigan. Of the births in Wayne County in 2015, 56 percent of them were paid for by Medicaid; this was equivalent to 13,145 births. As a comparison, across the entire state of Michigan 43.5 percent of births were paid for by Medicaid. Regionally, Livingston County had the lowest percentage of births paid for by Medicaid at 17 percent, that was equivalent to 317 births.