Louisiana Considers Medicaid Coverage for Menopausal Treatment

The following article, by Julie O’Donoghue, was published in the Louisiana Illuminator at Home • Louisiana Illuminator (lailluminator.com)

Louisiana lawmakers would mandate the state’s Medicaid program cover treatment for menopause and perimenopause symptoms under proposed legislation. 

Rep. Aimee Freeman, D-New Orleans, drafted House Bill 392 after hearing from a physician that health insurance companies refuse to cover hormonal treatment for perimenopause and menopause. The doctor told her estrogen and progesterone supplements were among the most commonly rejected.

The legislation only requires Medicaid to offer menopausal and perimenopausal treatment. Freeman said private insurance plans, including Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, already cover those medical needs and do not need to be addressed in her bill.

Menopause and perimenopause typically affects women in their 40s and 50s as they transition out of their child-bearing years. Symptoms can include irregular menstrual periods, hot flashes, vaginal problems, bladder problems, sleep disturbances, loss of bone density and higher cholesterol.

Medication, including estrogen and progesterone, can help manage the conditions. 

The House Committee on Health and Welfare voted 12-0 for the bill, which will now go to the full Louisiana House for consideration.