One of the most common problems with American’s health care system is while it might cover the individual health of a person it does not provide for family planning services that can help many individuals who are currently on Medicare or are just below the federal poverty line. In Washington State, family planning services for those low income individuals are covered under a program known as the Take Charge Program.
The Take Charge Program is a state run government program through the state of Washington that provides low income residents with family planning services or pregnancy prevention needs. To qualify for the program you must be 200% below the federal poverty line and be using the program to prevent pregnancies from occurring. The overall goal of the program is to prevent unwanted pregnancies or those that need to be carried by the Medicare system.
For those that qualify the Take Charge program offers a wide range of services to both males and females. Here is a look at some of the services that are offered.
Regular Routine Check-Ups. All annual exams and check-ups are covered under the Take Charge program. This includes pap smears and some STD testing that might be done at the exams.
Contraceptives. Contraceptives are included under the Take Charge program. Women can receive a year’s worth of birth control pills, patches, vaginal rings or other types of birth control under the program. Also available are condoms and male contraceptives. Other contraceptives included under the program are tubal ligation, vasectomies and the morning after pill or emergency contraceptive.
Family Planning Services. Under the Take Charge program a person can sit down with a family planning counselor and discuss the pros and cons of starting a family. They will discuss if you are ready for a family, can afford a family and other issues that might arise from starting a family. The services of the counselor are free under the program.