Family planning services are offered by the Medicaid program to women ages 19 through 44 in Louisiana without the ability to obtain those services elsewhere. If you do not have health insurance, or yours does not cover family planning, this waiver program offers a few essential services to avoid pregnancy. In order to qualify, a member’s income must be less than or equal to 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, and they must live in Louisiana. Very simply, Take Charge gives women access to several methods of birth control, exams, and medical services associated with reproductive health at no cost.
The Take Charge program is a limited benefit health plan, offering free services only related to family planning, and not available to those who receive full Medicaid. Anyone eligible for full Medicaid will already receive these services, among many others. Therefore, primary care for illness and injury or other health concerns is not covered by Take Charge. While it may be limited, the program also provides coverage that can help a woman immensely. If you have no other options, it is worth taking advantage of.
Take Charge Eligibility
Louisiana’s family planing services waiver covers women with earnings up to 200 percent of FPL. The current guidelines below are effective until March 2013, as the amounts change each April. Those who want to apply for coverage must also be Louisiana residents, intend on staying in the state, and have legal documentation of their citizenship. Members cannot be found ineligible unless they become pregnant, earn above 200 percent FPL, or move outside of Louisiana.
Family of 1: $1,862 monthly
Family of 2: $2,522 monthly
Family of 3: $3,182 monthly
Family of 4: $3,842 monthly
Family of 5: $4,501 monthly
Family of 6: $5,162 monthly
Family of 7: $5,822 monthly
Family of 8: $6,482 monthly
Add $660 for each additional member in households over 8 persons.
Take Charge Benefits
Once accepted for the Take Charge program, you have the ability to receive services such as laboratory tests for family planning; birth control medications and other contraceptive supplies; and family planning office visits with a physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner, limited to four per year with the exception of follow-up visits as needed. All FDA approved methods of birth control are covered by Take Charge and offered for free. Services can be obtained through any Louisiana Medicaid provider who is accepting new patients. Your coverage lasts for up to one year from your enrollment date, and each year you must renew your benefits.
How to Apply
If you are not planning to become pregnant and want to apply for Take Charge, you may complete an application online, or use a paper form to send or fax to the Take Charge headquarters. There are also many Medicaid application centers throughout the state where you can find a form. For those seeking immediate services, online application is the best bet. Take Charge has a separate application from other Medicaid programs, which you can download, print, and send to Take Charge.
Send or fax your paper application to:
P.O. Box 91278
Baton Rouge, LA 70821
Contact Take Charge
1. Department of Health & Hospitals. “Common Questions – Take Charge.” http://dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/faq/category/23.
2. Department of Health & Hospitals. “Take Charge.” http://dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/page/232.