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States Can Use Medicaid Funds To Protect Against Zika

In a June 1 bulletin, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reminded states that they can use Medicaid funds to help protect pregnant women and other vulnerable populations from the spread of the Zika virus.

The bulletin noted that various methods of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of Zika are covered under Medicaid. CMS also encouraged states to extend benefits specifically for pregnant women when deemed medically necessary to prevent the spread of Zika.

CMS hopes to target efforts toward pregnant women by highlighting the availability of contraception as well as ultrasounds, blood and urine tests, and genetic testing, among other services.

Managed care plans also can offer services, such as mosquito repellents and window screens, that are not included in their capitation rates. Further coverage also can be provided using Section 1115 Medicaid waivers.

America’s Essential Hospitals has established a resource page dedicated to this emerging public health threat. Visit this page regularly for new and updated information.

Contact Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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About the Author

Rachel Schwartz is a policy associate at America's Essential Hospitals.