AUSTIN – The Texas Health and Human Services Commission announced today that it is reinstating the Medicaid benefit for mosquito repellent due to the first reported case of Zika virus disease likely transmitted by a mosquito in Texas.
Texas quickly made the decision to bring back the benefit, which had ended Oct. 31, given the possibility of local transmission and risk of Zika in the local community. The newly reported case is a Cameron County resident who is not pregnant. Zika is spread primarily by mosquito bite and can cause severe birth defects in unborn children whose mothers are infected while pregnant.
The benefit begins tomorrow and will be in place through December, as the state collects more information about the case and scope of transmission in Texas.
"We will do all that we can to protect Texans and slow the spread of the Zika virus," said HHSC Executive Commissioner Charles Smith. "Insect repellent is the best way to protect yourself, and we want it to be widely available."
Eligible Texas women can go to participating pharmacies to pick up mosquito repellent, as Texas Medicaid has a standing order for mosquito repellent prescriptions for women who are between the ages of 10 and 45 or pregnant.
The benefit includes two cans per month per eligible beneficiary. Women are encouraged to call the pharmacy ahead of time because supply can vary by location.
Women eligible for the Medicaid, CHIP and CHIP-Perinate programs are covered. Women covered under the Healthy Texas Women and Children with Special Health Care Needs programs also can receive the benefit.
The following Zika-related items also are covered under current Texas Medicaid benefits:
- Family planning services
- 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.