Free bug spray now available in Texas for eligible women

Bug Spray (KXAN Photo)
Bug Spray (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — While there is no evidence mosquitoes in Texas are transmitting the Zika virus, doctors are urging pregnant women to avoid mosquito bites. Starting Tuesday, the state is stepping up to help them.

Texas Medicaid is now covering the cost of mosquito repellent for women who are between the ages of 10 and 45 or pregnant. To be covered, a doctor must prescribe the repellent and the patient must pick it up at a pharmacy. The patient can call their doctor to ask for a prescription, there is no need to actually go into the office. Patients can present their Medicaid prescription card just like they would with any prescription. Eligible women can get up to two cans per month through Oct. 31.

Pharmacies in Austin have been stocking up with repellents covered by Medicaid, there’s 11 different kinds. However, one pharmacy KXAN spoke with was only able to get one of the 11 repellents, the rest were on back order from their wholesaler.

“It’s something that can help alleviate some tensions about what’s going on right now,” said Kimberly Irby, a pharmacist with Martin’s Wellness and Compounding Pharmacy at Lamar Plaza Drug Store. “It’s something we want to be here to help them with, and something they might not have been able to afford.”

Repellents covered by Texas Medicaid for eligible women
Repellents covered by Texas Medicaid for eligible women

 

Doctors and nurses at Community Care Clinics are educating pregnant patients every day. They’re urging pregnant women who don’t have insurance, to come in and ask about options for care, as early in the pregnancy as possible. They’re also providing testing for Zika.

You can also call Community Care at (512) 978-9015. You can also call 211 for more information.

As of August 9, Texas has had 99 reported cases of Zika virus disease. The count includes three pregnant women, two infants infected before birth and one person who had sexual contact with a traveler.

The Department of State Health and Services said it’s spending more than $6 million in federal and state funds on surveillance, lab testing, public education and awareness as well as Zika prevention

Women in the following programs are covered:

  • Medicaid
  • CHIP
  • CHIP-Perinate
  • Healthy Texas Women
  • Family Planning

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