Texas Medicaid Improves Access to LARCs

Texas Medicaid now allows women to obtain intrauterine devices or implantable contraceptives, collectively known as long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs), immediately postpartum. For the past two years, TMA and other physician specialty societies have advocated strongly for the change as a means to increase women's access to the most effective forms of contraceptives. 

Studies show rates of unintended pregnancies drop as women's access to LARCs increases. Under the new payment policy, hospitals will bill Texas Medicaid or the patient's HMO for the device, while physicians will bill for the insertion. For further details about the billing changes, visit the Texas Medicaid and Healthcare Partnership website, or consult individual Medicaid HMO provider manuals.

Women who opt not to obtain a LARC immediately postpartum but who subsequently seek this form of contraception can obtain a LARC during the Medicaid 60-day postpartum period. The Texas Women's Health Program (TWHP) provides coverage for LARCs. Beginning in July 2016, Texas Medicaid will automatically enroll into TWHP those women aged 18 to 44 who lose pregnancy-related Medicaid coverage. The change, which will coincide with renaming TWHP the Healthy Texas Women program, is another TMA-backed measure designed to improve women's health care. For more information, read "Playing Catch-Up" in next month's issue of Texas Medicine.

Action, March 15, 2016

Last Updated On

March 14, 2016

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