Zika Update: Mosquito Repellent Covered Under State Health Programs
By David Doolittle


Although it’s only February, warmer weather is just around the corner.

That means more mosquitos, which means it’ll soon become important for you to remind your patients to protect themselves from mosquito-borne diseases such as Zika.

Luckily, mosquito repellant prescriptions are covered under Medicaid and other state programs, including the Healthy Texas Women Program (HTW).

And although those programs require patients to have a prescription for mosquito repellant, patients don’t need to see a physician to get one.

The state Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) reissued a standing order this week to allow patients enrolled in Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) – including CHIP-Perinatal – and HTW to obtain mosquito repellant without getting a prescription directly from a physician or other health care professional. However, the announcement also clarified that physicians can write a prescription too.

“This order serves as a prescription and allows pharmacists to dispense mosquito repellent under the terms of the order,” HHSC said. “Pharmacies are encouraged to use this order instead of contacting the person’s health care providers for individual prescriptions for mosquito repellent.”

As of last week, no cases of Zika virus disease have been reported in Texas for 2020, the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) said.

Only six Zika cases were confirmed in Texas in 2019 and 2018 combined. However, 48 Zika cases were reported in Texas in 2017, mostly in urban counties and in South Texas, down from 315 in 2016. 

More information about the mosquito repellent benefit, as well as a list of covered mosquito repellents, is available on the Vendor Drug Program website

You can find more information about Zika at www.texaszika.org, or the CDC Zika web page

Last Updated On

February 20, 2020

David Doolittle


(512) 370-1385

Dave Doolittle is editor of Texas Medicine and Texas Medicine Today. Dave grew up in Austin, where he attended culinary school as well as the University of Texas. He spent years covering Central Texas for the Austin American-Statesman newspaper. He is the father of two girls, a proud Longhorn, and an avid motorsports fan.

More stories by David Doolittle