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Texas Becomes First State to Issue Standing Order for Mosquito Repellent to Fight Zika

Texas Health and Human Services CommissionAugust 15, 2016Articles

AUSTIN – Eligible Texas women on Medicaid can go straight to their pharmacist to pick up mosquito repellent, Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Charles Smith announced today. Texas Medicaid has issued a standing order for mosquito repellent prescriptions for women who are between the ages of 10 and 45 or pregnant.

Texas is the first state in the nation to implement such an order to slow the spread of the Zika virus. Eligible patients no longer need to call or visit their doctor for a prescription for mosquito repellent.

“This is another step in our comprehensive plan to protect Texas women and their unborn children from the Zika virus,” Commissioner Smith said. “For this benefit to be truly effective, it is imperative to make insect repellent as easily and widely available as possible.”

The standing order will ensure obtaining repellent is easier for eligible women and also allow Texas Medicaid to fulfill the requirement of a doctor’s prescription for all over-the-counter products set forth by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Zika can cause severe birth defects in unborn children whose mothers are infected while pregnant. The best way to stay protected from Zika is to avoid mosquito bites. There is currently no vaccine to prevent the disease or drugs to treat it, making it essential that Texans use mosquito repellent to prevent infection.

Eligible women can pick up the repellent from participating pharmacies. Women are encouraged to call the pharmacy ahead of time because supply will vary by location.

Women in the following programs are covered:

  • Medicaid
  • CHIP
  • CHIP-Perinate

In addition, women covered under the Healthy Texas Women program no longer require a prescription to obtain repellent. Eligible women can get up to two cans per month through October.

HHSC has previously determined the following Zika-related items are covered under current Texas Medicaid benefits:

  • Family planning services
  • Contraceptives
  • Diagnostic testing
  • Targeted case management
  • Physical therapy
  • Long term services and support
  • Acetaminophen and oral electrolytes for Zika symptoms
  • Potential coverage for additional ultrasounds for pregnant women

For more information about the Zika virus, visit TexasZika.org.

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