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Low-Income Women's Access to Family Planning

Louisiana provides increased access to reproductive-health-care services through a Section 1115 family-planning waiver.  The waiver allows the state to cover family-planning services for women ages 19 to 44 with incomes at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level, who are not otherwise eligible for federal or state health-care programs.  Additionally, enrollees must be (1) U.S. citizens or persons who meet the state's defined immigration requirements and (2) Louisiana residents.

Covered services include: all services currently identified in the Medicaid program as family-planning services for women, including sterilization; four visits per calendar year for services rendered by a physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner or nurse; all-FDA-approved family-planning medications, devices, methods or supplies.  

The waiver is set to expire on Dec. 31, 2014.

The waiver will provide coverage for individuals through the next open enrollment period, when they will then be covered by a State Plan Amendment (SPA) to Louisiana's Medicaid program, effective July 1, 2014. The SPA allows the state to cover family-planning services for women and men with family incomes at or below 133 percent of the federal poverty level who are not currently enrolled in Medicaid and do not have any other health insurance.  Additionally, enrollees must be (1) U.S. citizens or persons who meet Medicaid citizenship requirements and (2) Louisiana residents.  

Beneficiaries of family-planning coverage available through the SPA are not required to pay premiums or co-payments for covered services. Covered services include: all FDA-approved birth-control methods, devices and supplies; a comprehensive reproductive-health history, physical examination, and pap smear; emergency services directly related to the contraceptive method and follow-up; pregnancy testing and counseling; prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections; HIV testing and counseling; limited diagnostic services for fertility management; male and female sterilization; reproductive-health education and counseling.

Louisiana Take Charge Family Planning, Project No. 11-W-00232/6, at; NARAL Pro-Choice America Survey of State Medicaid Offices.

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