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Expanding Postpartum Medicaid Coverage


High rates of preventable maternal mortality and morbidity and wide racial and ethnic disparities have caught the attention of clinicians, public health practitioners, advocates, and policymakers.1 In the closing days of the Trump Administration, HHS released an action plan to improve maternal health, and President-elect Biden has cited this topic as a key health care issue. Vice President-elect Harris has been an advocate in the Senate for improving maternal health, particularly stemming the disproportionately high rates of maternal mortality and morbidity among Black women, and may continue to champion this work at the Executive Branch. During the 2019-2020 Congressional session, more than a dozen billsacross political lines related to maternal health outcomes, care, and coverage were introduced, and many could be re-introduced when the new Congress is seated. Several federal and state efforts aim to address the postpartum period, the time shortly after the birth of an infant, an important but often neglected element of maternity care. Birthing parents may be dealing with a host of medical conditions, such as complications from childbirth, pain, depression or anxiety, all while caring for a newborn. It can be a medically vulnerable period and many cases of maternal mortality occur in the postpartum period.


Source: Kaiser Family Foundation. (2021). Expanding postpartum Medicaid coverage.