Can Medicaid Reimbursement Help Give Female Condoms a Second Chance in the United States?

Witte, Susan S.; Stefano, Kyle; Hawkins, Courtney E.

The female condom is the only other barrier contraception method besides the male condom, and it is the only "woman-initiated" device for prevention of sexually transmitted infections. Although studies demonstrate high acceptability and effectiveness for this device, overall use in the United States remains low. The female condom has been available through Medicaid in many states since 1994. We provide the first published summary of data on Medicaid reimbursement for the female condom. Our findings demonstrate low rates of claims for female condoms but high rates of reimbursement. In light of the 2009 approval of a new, cheaper female condom and the recent passage of comprehensive health care reform, we call for research examining how health care providers can best promote consumer use of Medicaid reimbursement to obtain this important infection-prevention device.


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American Journal of Public Health

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July 19, 2012