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.

Frequently Asked Questions
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.
  • Pregnant women and their families
  • Doctors and healthcare professionals
  • Maternal health advocates
  • Public health experts
  • Mental health advocates
  • None noted
Model Policy
This act shall be known as the STATE Postpartum Health Coverage Act
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.

(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.