News Release

Texas Health and Human Services Commission

Dr. Courtney N. Phillips
HHS Executive Commissioner
Date:May 2, 2019
Contact:
Carrie Williams, 512-424-6951

Texas Makes Significant Strides for Women’s Health

New Data Show Increases in Clients Served

AUSTIN – The Texas Health and Human Services Commission today released a new report showing significant strides in improving the reach of the state’s core women’s health programs, including a 30 percent increase in the number of women served in the Healthy Texas Women program.

More than 270,000 Texans received women’s health services in the Healthy Texas Women and Family Planning programs in fiscal year 2018.

The report, required by the Texas Legislature, outlines key successes in the agency’s Healthy Texas Women and Family Planning programs, and also highlights several areas of improvements and goals for the programs going forward.

“We need to be champions for Texas women and their health. We’re making progress, and we’re not stopping,” said Dr. Courtney N. Phillips, HHS executive commissioner, the first woman appointed to lead Texas Health and Human Services. “Our team is working to make sure women have access to the services they need, whether that’s contraception, pregnancy testing or cancer screenings.”

The Healthy Texas Women and Family Planning programs are the state’s two core programs that specifically offer women’s health and family planning services at no or low cost to eligible people in Texas. They increase access to women’s health and family planning services to avert unintended pregnancies, positively affect the outcome of future pregnancies, and help improve the health and well-being of women and their families.

Key findings for the Healthy Texas Women program include:

  • Clients served: 172,023 (30 percent increase from previous year)
  • Estimated cost savings: $136 million in federal and state dollars for 2018 to 2020

Key findings for the Family Planning program include:

  • Clients served: 106,224 (10 percent increase from previous year)
  • Estimated cost savings: $74 million in federal and state dollars for 2018 to 2020

The anticipated cost savings is primarily due to averting unintended births that would have prompted Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program expenditures.

While significant strides have been made, state officials recognize improvements are needed to address service inequities and barriers to access, and to improve maternal health in Texas. HHSC is collaborating with stakeholders to continue evaluating ways to strengthen the program going forward. Efforts are underway to improve provider outreach and provider look-up tools, evaluate continuity of care and better understand and address any access issues.

“Implementation of auto-enrollment to Healthy Texas Women is important for new mothers who are focusing on their family and may not have the time or energy to apply for another health care program,” said Paula Turicchi, Vice President of Operations, Parkland Health & Hospital System, and former chair of the Texas Women’s Health Advisory Committee. “Seamlessly continuing health care coverage after delivery helps maintain continuity of care for our patients at Parkland.”

The report Texas Women’s Health Programs Report Fiscal Year 2018 can be viewed here.

More information is available at healthytexaswomen.org. Texas residents also can dial 2-1-1 to find out if they are eligible, locate a doctor or learn more about programs and services related to women’s health and family planning.

Program Background

Healthy Texas Women
The Healthy Texas Women program provides family planning services and other women’s health services that contribute to preconception care and better birth outcomes. The program provides a wide variety of women’s health and core family planning services, including contraception, cancer screenings and pregnancy testing. Women may be eligible for services if they are age 15 through 44, U.S. citizens or eligible immigrants, and have an income at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.

Family Planning Program
The Family Planning program provides family planning services to women and men at little to no cost. The program offers services to help clients determine the number and spacing of their children, reduce unintended pregnancies, and improve general health, along with future pregnancy and birth outcomes. Women and men may be eligible if they are residents of Texas, age 64 or younger, and have incomes at or below 250 percent of the federal poverty level.