AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: The related video was published in April 2019.
Governor Greg Abbott announced Wednesday the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reached an agreement to offer comprehensive women’s health services through the Healthy Texas Women (HTW) demonstration waiver over the next five years.
“The Lone Star State is once again in partnership with the federal government to provide meaningful family planning and health services while fostering a culture of life," said Gov. Abbott. "This collaboration is a symbol of our commitment to championing the lives of Texas women. I am grateful to President Trump and his administration for approving this waiver, and for his commitment to protecting the unborn while providing much-needed health resources to Texas women.”
The approval of the Medicaid demonstration waiver allows the state of Texas to use approximately $350 million in federal funding for women’s health services that positively impact the health and well-being of women.
“With Governor Abbott’s strong leadership, we continue making significant strides in improving access to women’s health and family planning services in Texas,” said Dr. Courtney N. Phillips, HHS executive commissioner. “We welcome our renewed partnership with CMS to ensure healthy outcomes for Texas women.”
Women who meet the HTW qualifications can obtain services including family planning, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and basic health care screenings for hypertension, cholesterol, and diabetes and postpartum depression.
The Healthy Texas Women demonstration qualifications include:
- Ages 18 through 44
- U.S. citizens or qualified immigrants
- Texas resident
- Not currently pregnant
- Does not currently receive benefits through a Medicaid program that provides full benefits, Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or Medicare Part A or B, and does not have any other creditable health coverage
- Net family income at or below 200% of the federal poverty level
Women who qualify for the HTW waiver will be able to receive the same benefits provided by the state-funded HTW program. HTW will continue to serve clients ages 15-17 using only state dollars.
The new waiver supports Texas’ policy and avoids the use of state funds to promote or support abortions. The waiver will allow Texas to serve more than 200,000 clients a year compared to the approximately 173,000 women in 2018.
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