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Several States Extend Medicaid Postpartum Coverage to 12 Months

3 states and Washington, DC extend Medicaid postpartum coverage for a full year

On June 20, 2022, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced extensions of Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) postpartum care to 12 months. 

CMS approved the extensions in Maine, Minnesota, New Mexico, and Washington, D.C. so coverage now lasts for 12 months after pregnancy. These three states and Washington D.C. join California, Florida, Kentucky, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Michigan, Louisiana, Virginia, New Jersey, and Illinois as states that have extended Medicaid and CHIP coverage. This means that 253,000 parents have gained access to 12 months of postpartum coverage through the decision. 

New Parents Originally Only Had 60 Days of Medicaid and CHIP Coverage

Medicaid covers 42% of all births in the country. Originally, only 60 days of Medicaid and CHIP postpartum coverage was available. However, over half of pregnancy-related deaths in the nation occur in the 12-month postpartum period, with 12% occurring later than six weeks postpartum.

With this extension, the Biden-Harris Administration aims to address disparities in maternal health outcomes by opening the door to postpartum care. The extension of coverage to 12 full months after birth was made possible through a new state plan established through the American Rescue Plan.

CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure addressed the importance of the new plans, “The American Rescue Plan gives states an easier pathway to extend postpartum coverage—and gives parents and families the peace of mind of having health coverage during the vital first year after pregnancy.”

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra also added, “Postpartum coverage not only improves health outcomes, but also saves lives. Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, new parents will now have access to the ongoing care they need during the most crucial time after giving birth. I applaud Maine, Minnesota, New Mexico, and Washington, D.C, for taking action to join the Administration’s efforts to strengthen maternal health and support safe healthy families.”

To read the full press release from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), click here

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