More Than Half the States Have Expanded Access to 12 Months of Medicaid and CHIP Postpartum Coverage: HHS

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According to a recent announcement from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), more than half of all states have made it possible for pregnant women to continue receiving Medicaid and CHIP coverage for an additional 12 months. The American Rescue Plan (ARP), which President Biden signed into law in March 2021, contains provisions that allow for extended coverage in 25 and 26 additional states, respectively.

Georgia and Pennsylvania are the 25th and 26th states to receive this approval. The Biden-Harris Administration’s Maternal Health Blueprint, a comprehensive approach aimed at improving maternal health, particularly in underprivileged communities, has made significant progress with today’s announcement. 

As per the HHS, in Georgia and Pennsylvania, up to an additional 57,000 persons – PDF will now be qualified for Medicaid or CHIP for a full year following pregnancy as a result of today’s news. The ARP has increased access to postpartum coverage for an estimated 418,000 Americans in 26 states and the District of Columbia. A total of 720,000 individuals will be guaranteed Medicaid and CHIP coverage for 12 months following a pregnancy if all states choose to implement this option. 

Expanding access to high-quality, affordable healthcare has been a primary focus for the Biden-Harris administration; as a result of the ARP and other administration initiatives, more individuals than ever before have health insurance coverage. These initiatives, which are a crucial aspect of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Maternal Health Blueprint, which Vice President Harris unveiled on June 24, 2022, including expanding Medicaid and CHIP postpartum coverage. 

“Last year, I issued a Call to Action urging states to increase postpartum women’s Medicaid coverage from two to twelve months. According to Vice President Kamala Harris, over 40% of all newborns in the country are covered by Medicaid, and one-fourth of all pregnancy-related deaths take place between one and a half months and one year after giving birth.

“As of right now, more than half of the states have responded to this request, marking a huge milestone that will have a big impact on families and women. Till every woman has access to expanded postpartum Medicaid coverage, our administration will fight. 

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra urged the remaining states, “To the remaining states: I urge you to join our efforts to promote healthy women and babies and extend access to this vital treatment.” “More than half of the country has made postpartum care available for a full year after delivery.

This marks a significant turning point in our mission to increase equity and maternal health across the nation. We are taking decisive action to address the maternal mortality and morbidity issue in accordance with the clear strategy that Vice President Kamala Harris and President Biden have established. 

CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure said, “I’m pleased to announce that Georgia and Pennsylvania are extending coverage for a full year following pregnancy, and thrilled that we’ve hit the halfway mark of states that have extended this vital coverage.” “The American Rescue Plan is acting as a foundation to help women’s and families health and wellness. The majority of people across the country now prioritize maternal health improvements thanks to the Administration’s Maternal Health Blueprint and CMS’s own Maternity Care Action Plan. 

The new state plan authority created by the ARP, which allows states to increase postpartum coverage in their Medicaid and CHIP programs from the current required 60-day period to 12 months, makes it possible to extend coverage today. In addition to California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia, Georgia, and Pennsylvania are the most recent states to extend Medicaid and CHIP coverage for 12 months after pregnancy. The ARP option to extend postpartum coverage to 12 months is still being discussed by CMS with other states. 



Moreover, half of all children in the nation receive Medicaid coverage, covering 42% of all births. As part of ongoing work by HHS and the Biden-Harris Administration to address inequities in maternal health outcomes, states now have the option to expand Medicaid and CHIP postpartum coverage. This will allow hundreds of thousands of people access to postpartum treatment.

According to the Biden-Harris Administration’s Blueprint – PDF for Addressing the Maternal Health Crisis and CMS’ just-released Maternity Care Action Plan, extending Medicaid postpartum coverage is a crucial component of these initiatives. Consult this fact sheet for more details on these and other initiatives to improve linkages to care for people who are pregnant or recently gave birth. 

One in three pregnancy-related deaths occurs between one week and one year following childbirth, according to a report – PDF released by the HHS Office of Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. Recovery following childbirth, dealing with delivery issues, assuring mental health, managing newborn care, and switching from obstetric to primary care all require attention during the postpartum period. 

With the release of information indicating whether a hospital took part in a local, state, or federal program focused on enhancing mother and child health today, CMS is also making progress with its Maternity Care Action Plan. This is the first of several changes being made to Hospital Compare’s new “Maternal Health” section.

In the future, hospitals that participate in a statewide or national collaborative initiative for perinatal quality improvement and have put the recommended quality intervention into practice will be given the distinction of “Birthing-Friendly” hospitals. 



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