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Protect New Families with a Full Year of Care after Birth

A third of pregnancy-related deaths in America occur in the weeks following birth, instead of during pregnancy or delivery. However, for many new mothers, health coverage ends just 60 days after delivery, even though post-birth complications can continue well after. Ensuring that new mothers and their babies have a year of postpartum health insurance coverage can save states money on overall healthcare costs, while combating maternal mortality, and helping families during the critical first year of life.

The National Landscape

Passed in:

Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland (12), Maine, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Washington, West Virginia

Introduced in:

Alabama, Alaska, California, Delaware, Iowa, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, New York, Virginia
Even if a state has enacted a policy, there may be aspects to be strengthened. We can help identify ways to improve lives in your state. Please reach out to our State Line: 1-833-STATES-1.

In The News

“The number of reported maternal deaths has increased nationwide in recent decades, and Texas data shows Black women in the state die disproportionately while pregnant or after delivery, from causes like infections, heart problems and mental disorders...[Rep. Toni] Rose has proposed a bill, included in the House health care package unveiled Wednesday, that would extend Medicaid to a year postpartum.”
“Admon has seen the impact firsthand. . . . Before the expansion took effect, she said, ‘after the postpartum visit, it was sort of like ‘good luck.’ Now, . . . . ‘We’re having an easier time connecting women with routine well-women care,’ she said. 'I have much better faith that, if they have diabetes, I can send them to someone to manage diabetes or other clinical conditions I’m not comfortable managing.’”
“Childbirth is the leading reason that people go to hospitals, accounting for nearly 12 percent of all U.S. hospital stays in 2014....Even seemingly temporary complications from pregnancy and childbirth may have long-term effects on women's physical and mental health. Pre-eclampsia, for example, is associated with a substantial increase in the risk of heart disease and stroke later in life, while the sheer trauma of a complicated birth can have emotional repercussions.”
“Hundreds of women die preventable deaths of complications from pregnancy each year in the United States, even weeks or months after childbirth, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health experts say recognizing contributing factors such as racial disparities and working toward solutions are key in saving lives.”

Partners

  • Pregnant women and their families
  • Doctors and healthcare professionals
  • Maternal health advocates
  • Public health experts
  • Mental health advocates

Opposition

  • None noted
Call us for real-time support using this library, problem-solving tips, and follow-up from our team of national experts:
The State Line
1-833-
STATES-1

FAQ

Who does this help?
This policy helps new mothers and their families, who are often faced with undiagnosed postpartum depression, gestational diabetes, hypertension, and other health risks and complications, including pregnancy-related death, without the care they need after giving birth.
Is this high cost for the state?
No. The federal government pays 90% or more of the costs of Medicaid expansion for postpartum coverage. Also, ensuring that more new mothers have health insurance and during the year after delivery can reduce healthcare costs overall by helping more women get the care they need.
Print

Model Policy

SECTION 1 (TITLE):
This act shall be known as the STATE Postpartum Health Coverage Act.

SECTION 2 (PURPOSE):
Whereas new mothers and their families are at increased risks of postpartum health risks and complications after giving birth, this act expands Medicaid coverage for pregnant and postpartum mothers up to 12 months after giving birth.

SECTION 3 (PROVISIONS):

(A) Pregnancy related Medicaid eligibility in STATE shall extend 365 days postpartum.
(B) Within existing appropriations, DEPARTMENT shall research and identify additional cost-effective ways to expand health insurance coverage during the 365 days postpartum in STATE, such as by tailoring existing or proposed health insurance navigator programs and identifying ways to expand Medicaid and other health insurance coverage of voluntary, evidence-based maternal home visiting programs, and shall within one year of enactment of this section, produce a report on such solutions, including to identify which solutions can be undertaken without additional legislation or appropriation. Such report shall be delivered to the Governor and Legislature, and posted on DEPARTMENT’s website.
(C) If before implementing this section, DEPARTMENT determines a waiver or authorization from a federal agency is necessary for implementation of this section, the agency shall request the waiver or authorization.
(D) Definitions: “evidence-based maternal home visiting program” as defined in this section means an evidence-based home visiting model that is proven to improve child health and be cost effective, as measured by the federal Home Visiting Evidence of Effectiveness (HomVEE) program.