July 25, 2014 — New York has joined five other states in making it easier for new mothers in the Medicaid program to access long-acting reversible contraceptives after giving birth, NPR's "Shots" reports. Under a policy change announced last week, women participating in the fee-for-service portion of the program can receive coverage for LARCs immediately after giving birth.
According to "Shots," most states' Medicaid programs will not reimburse physicians for delivering a newborn and administering LARCs during a single visit. Women can receive Medicaid coverage for LARCs at a six-week post-partum appointment, but "Shots" reports that many women are much less likely to obtain contraception at that point.
New York City Assistant Health Commissioner Deborah Kaplan said the state's "bottom line priority" is to get rid of barriers to contraceptive access. Kaplan added, "We want women to have the options and then [work] with their provider to make the best decision with all the information available" (Farrington, "Shots," NPR, 7/23).