Nearly half of all pregnancies among American women are unintended. Unintended pregnancies are those that are unwanted or occur before a woman wants to become pregnant. According to the N.C. State Center for Health Statistics' Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring Survey (PRAMS), 44% of pregnancies in North Carolina were unintended in 2005. This figure is in line with national rates. Helping women time and space pregnancies by encouraging the use of safe and effective contraceptive methods is the goal of the North Carolina Medicaid Family Planning Waiver.
Research has shown that women with planned pregnancies seek prenatal care earlier, have fewer pretern deliveries (before 37 weeks), fewer low birth weight babies and are more likely to initiate breastfeeding. Help us keep families and babies healthy and safe in North Carolina - spread the word about the North Carolina Medicaid Family Planning Waiver.
The Family Planning Waiver, also known as Be Smart, is designed to reduce thenumber of unintended pregnancies by expanding eligibility for men and womenfor family planning services inNorth Carolina. Under the program which began in2005,
Be Smart is a Medicaid "waiver" program that is available to North Carolina residents who do not qualify for other Medicaid benefits. The Medicaid Be Smart Family Planning Program is limited to services related to family planning.
Women (ages 19 - 55) and men (ages 19 to 60) who:
Provider participants in the Be Smart program is open to all Medicaid providers whose licensure and accreditations allows them to provide family planning services. This includes:
There are no additional enrollment requirement for Medicaid providers who are currently enrolled to provide family planning services.
Free Be Smart educational and promotional materials (in English and Spanish) are available from the North Carolina Healthy Start Foundation in bulk quantities.
If you have clients who may be eligible for Be Smart, you can download applications - English (Spanish version) or order applications in large quantities. Or you can call the NC Family Health Resource Line at 1-800-367-2229 to have a copy sent to you. Be Smart uses the same application as Health Check (Medicaid) and NC Health Choice for Children programs - free or low cost health insurance for children and teens.
From the N.C. Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (2005):
"Thinking back to just before you became pregnant...how did you feel about becoming pregnant?"
Sources: Finer LB and Henshaw SK, Disparities in rate of unintended pregnancy in the United States, 1994 and 2001' "Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health," 2006, 38(2):90-96.
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