Advocates, MCOs Urge Longer Postpartum Medicaid Coverage

As states face intense budget pressures during the COVID-19 pandemic and beneficiary advocates urge the federal government to provide additional financial support to state Medicaid programs, extending postpartum care access would resolve a longstanding issue impacting children and families and close a significant gap in coverage during the pandemic and beyond, according to advocates and providers.

Roughly 700 women die each year due to pregnancy-related complications, and about 60% of cases are preventable, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC also estimates that more than 44,000 pregnant women have become infected with the coronavirus this year, resulting in an estimated 8,500 hospitalizations. Medicaid is the largest payer of maternity care in the U.S., yet current law does not require state Medicaid programs to cover women for more than 60 days after childbirth, and states must seek waiver approval to use federal matching funds to extend coverage.

© 2021 MMIT

Lauren Flynn Kelly Managing Editor, Radar on Medicare Advantage

Lauren has been covering health business issues, including drug benefits and specialty pharmacy, for more than a decade. She served as editor of Drug Benefit News (the predecessor to Radar on Drug Benefits) from 2004 to 2005 and again from 2011 to 2016, and now manages Radar on Medicare Advantage. Lauren graduated from Vassar College with a B.A. in English.

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