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‘Every state should be taking advantage’: 3 states extend postpartum Medicaid/CHIP coverage

The U.S. Division of Well being and Human Companies and the Facilities for Medicare & Medicaid Companies permitted the extension of postpartum Medicaid and Youngsters’s Well being Insurance coverage Program protection in Hawaii, Maryland and Ohio on Tuesday. One advocate stated all states ought to comply with.

By way of the American Rescue Plan, states have the choice to increase postpartum protection of their Medicaid and CHIP packages from the present obligatory 60-day timeline to 12 months following being pregnant. States could make the change by a State Plan Modification, which is a proposed change to Medicaid plans. This feature took effect April 1 and is on the market for 5 years, based on Kaiser Household Basis. Earlier than April 1, states prolonged postpartum protection by a bit 1115 waiver or by utilizing state funds.

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There’s a necessity for the extension, stated Dr. Jen Villavicencio, lead for fairness transformation on the American Faculty of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The group has been a main advocate for extending postpartum Medicaid protection to at least one 12 months. About one-third of all maternal deaths occur between every week and a 12 months after supply, she stated.

“The weeks following delivery are a essential well being interval for a person … The postpartum interval should embody ongoing entry to healthcare, quite than a single encounter, with companies and assist — particularly for sufferers with persistent medical circumstances — tailor-made to every particular person’s wants,” Villavicencio stated. “This requires well timed follow-up and ongoing coordination of care with different healthcare specialists with the intention to set the stage for long-term well being and well-being. But, folks may have a troublesome time accessing this care if they don’t have medical insurance.”

To this point, 21 states and the District of Columbia are implementing a postpartum protection extension, whereas 9 states are able to implement it pending CMS approval, based on a tracker by the ACOG. 

Medicaid covers 42% of all births within the nation. With Tuesday’s approval, an extra 34,000 folks yearly are eligible for postpartum Medicaid and CHIP protection for 12 months after being pregnant, HHS stated in a information launch. This contains about 2,000 folks in Hawaii, 11,000 in Maryland and 21,000 in Ohio. In whole, roughly 318,000 People yearly are eligible, HHS acknowledged.

Out of the 12 states which have chosen to not totally develop Medicaid, 9 have sought or plan to hunt an extension of postpartum Medicaid protection, Kaiser Well being Information reported in June. However some politicians in non-expansion states, similar to Wyoming, South Dakota and Mississippi, don’t need any type of Medicaid growth, together with with postpartum protection.

If all states adopted the 12-month postpartum possibility, about 720,000 People yearly could be assured Medicaid and CHIP protection for a 12 months after being pregnant, HHS stated.

“By way of the American Rescue Plan Act, Congress has made accessible a less complicated pathway for states to increase Medicaid protection for pregnant folks,” Villavicencio stated. “Each state needs to be benefiting from this chance.” 

Beneath the Covid-19 public well being emergency, states are required to supply steady protection to Medicaid enrollees, KFF stated. Due to this fact, postpartum protection has been steady all through the pandemic.

Picture credit score: Blue Planet Studio, Getty Photographs

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