With abortion no longer legal in Texas, access to birth control (also known as contraception) is more important now than ever. Women who have health insurance can usually find free or at least affordable birth control options through their insurance company. It is imperative that uninsured or underinsured women have affordable birth control choices as well.
While the US had approximately 12.9% of women (ages 19-44) who were uninsured in 2019, Texas had 26.3% of uninsured women of the same age range and year. This is the highest rate of uninsured in the US, according to America’s Health Rankings (United Health Foundation).
Here are a few options for uninsured and underinsured women in Texas.
- Planned Parenthood provides comprehensive sexual health and family planning services, including 18 different types of birth control ranging from physical barriers to behavioral practices. Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas strives to provide effective birth control options for those with and without insurance. Many uninsured patients who do not qualify for state or federal programs may be eligible for low or no-cost services and products based on income or other eligibility requirements. Through the Planned Parenthood Direct app, people can also order birth control and emergency contraception.
- Another option to get contraception and preventive services is at government-funded clinics. Since 1970, states have received federal funding through Title X Family planning services. This program provides funding for contraception, cancer screenings, and screenings and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Everybody Texas has a list of clinics that offer these services.
- The state-run Family Planning Program Healthy Texas Women is open to women 15-44 who are not pregnant and meet low-income standards (only $2,313/month to qualify). Those who meet the eligibility criteria must reapply for services every year.
All of these options are going to be experiencing increased demand right now and it may take longer than usual to schedule an appointment at these facilities. It is also important to be aware of any eligibility criteria, including forms and documents that may be needed as proof of eligibility.
It is crucial for healthcare providers and clinics to be able to meet the increased demand for contraception in wake of the looming potential consequences associated with unwanted pregnancies, for women with AND without health insurance. The future of Texas depends on accessible and affordable healthcare, including contraception, for everyone.