Great Resources During a Challenging Time
By Perdita Henry
The world has changed drastically over the last several weeks. While we’re all doing what we can to flatten the curve and keep the most vulnerable amongst us safe, organizations across the state and beyond, are doing everything they can to create solutions to every day health concerns. The following is a list of resources that might help you, your organization, or your clients navigate some of the challenges created by COVID-19.
Health and Human Services Commission announces COVID-19 testing and auto renewal plans
The Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) announced that COVID-19 testing will be a covered benefit in Healthy Texas Women (HTW) and the Family Planning Program (FPP) starting April 1, 2020, for services going back to February 4, 2020 at no cost to the client.
Medicaid announced that they will begin automatically renewing benefits to ensure existing clients can maintain coverage during the COVID-19 public health crisis. Recipients will not have to worry about losing health coverage during the pandemic. This also applies to the Healthy Texas Women (HTW) clients. Beneficiaries will stay enrolled to ensure they can maintain access to women’s healthcare services and COVID-19 testing.
Help for Pregnant and Postpartum moms
The March of Dimes (MOD) launched their COVID-19 resource page and hosted their first Facebook live event on April 1. The expert panel included March of Dimes Chief Medical & Health Officer Rahul Gupta, MD, MPH, MBA, FACP, Lisa M. Hollier, MD, from Baylor College of Medicine, and Founder of Mama Glow, Latham Thomas, to discuss how expectant mothers can cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. They plan to hold Facebook Live events over the coming weeks, so be sure to like and follow their Facebook page for updates.
Maintaining a birth control regimen
The World Health Organization created a frequently asked questions page focusing on contraception and family planning in the time of COVID-19. Providers will learn how to field some of the more common questions clients may have about lack of contraception access, replacement or removal of Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARC), and more.
Power to Decide launched their BCBenefits fund to “help low-income women overcome some of the most commonly-faced barriers in access to contraception, such as transportation.” As women continue to experience additional access challenges due to COVID-19, BCBenefits will provide women with the support needed to obtain their preferred contraception. If you would like to donate to the fund, click here.
For women who’d like to access contraceptives from the comfort of home, there are several mail-order services to check out. Bedsider, “Power to Decide’s evidence-based and digital birth control information and resource network,” created an extensive list of services, so potential clients can review which company might be right for them and know what to expect before creating an account.
While nothing is certain as this pandemic continues, we hope these resources will help as you to provide services and guidance to the individuals and communities you serve.