Plan First!

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"We want to insure that every child in Michigan is a wanted child."

And with the new program "Plan First!" the state hopes that the number of unplanned pregnancies drops. According T.J. Bucholz, of the Michigan Departartment of Community Health, about 41 percent of pregnancies in 2001 were unintended.

"You plan what you're doing for dinner, the weekend, what you're going to wear for the day. Why shouldn't you plan for your family?"

"Plan First!" will provide family planning to women ages 19 through 44 who are at or below 185 percent poverty but are unable to qualify for Medicaid. The program is made possible through a federal waiver of more than $200 million.

"When we balance the cost of family planning in some cases it may be a couple hundred dollars a month versus the cost of a Medicaid birth which is about $11,000. It's obvious which cost we prefer."

MDCH says it's a win win situation for the people of Michigan. Because by decreasing unintended pregnancies by just 10 percent, the state can save roughly $27 million.

"It actually reduces costs in the Medicaid program which actually reduces the cost for healthcare statewide."

But the bottom line isn't about the money. It's about planning ahead.

"We want people to think about families before they engage in behavior that leads towards families."

For more information or to enroll in "Plan First!" you can call 1-800-642-3195.