Health News

17 States Make Birth Control More Available For Women With Medicaid Coverage

Photo from Pixabay

The Huffington Post reports that at least 17 states in the U.S. have changed procedures so that Medicaid programs for the poor will pay hospitals to insert long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) implants at the most opportune moment – when a woman is already at the hospital having a baby.

Maternal health care advocates say,

The changes in billing procedures give women on Medicaid better access to the most effective and most expensive forms of contraception.

The changes are also viewed as timely, since the nation’s rate of unintended pregnancy remains stubbornly high at 45% of all pregnancies. The rates are higher among individuals at lower income levels.

Despite their enthusiasm, maternal health care advocates to urge caution too, saying that it is important that poor and vulnerable women must not be coerced into getting the implants, as many have been in previous state-sanctioned sterilization and public health birth control programs.

LARC implants are the most effective form of birth control. The implants provide contraception for three to twelve years. An example of a LARC implant is the IUD, which is a small plastic device inserted into the uterus. Another is a birth control implant, which is a tiny plastic rod inserted in the upper arm.

LARC implants result in less than one pregnancy per 100 women in a year. The birth control pill, by contrast, results to nine pregnancies per 100 women in a year. The diaphragm and condoms result in 12 and 18 pregnancies per 100 women in a year, respectively.

Despite their effectiveness, women do not use LARC implants as much as other control methods. Nearly 26% of women using contraception rely on the birth control pill, and 15% use condoms. Fewer than 12% use LARC implants, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

South Carolina was the first state to make changes in Medicaid payments, starting in 2012, to encourage the insertion of LARC implants after delivery for women who wanted them.

Click to comment
To Top

Hi - Get Important Content Like This Delivered Directly To You

Get important content and more delivered to you once or twice a week.

We don't want an impostor using your email address so please look for an email from us and click the link to confirm your email address.