Virginia – Latest State to Offer Full Year Postpartum Medicaid

Virginia is the latest state to offer 12-month postpartum Medicaid and child health insurance coverage after Medicare and Medicaid centers. approved state Medicaid plan amendment on Thursday.

Other states are likely to follow suit next year, following the April 2022 provision of the American Rescue Plan to simplify applications to extend postpartum coverage by 12 months.

According to a September report from the US Civil Rights Commission, the US maternal mortality rate has worsened over the past three decades, especially among black women. Another study found that health complications associated with childbirth cost the United States at least $ 32.3 billion.

Medicaid pays more than 40% births in the USA. But federal law currently requires states to offer postpartum Medicaid coverage only to people earning up to 138% of the federal poverty level within 60 days. Many states cover pregnant people in excess of the minimum income level, but in states that have not expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, it may not be easy for people to get coverage when their two months on Medicaid are up.

States are currently required to retain Medicaid participants, including people who have given birth more than 60 days ago, as a condition for receiving additional federal Medicaid funding during a COVID-19 public health emergency.

The Biden administration wants to improve maternal health and address pregnancy-related deaths.

“When we think about making a real difference in maternal health, making sure we deliver coverage is critical,” CMS administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSour said at the National Association of Medicaid Directors conference on Tuesday.

American Medical Association agreed During the House of Delegates meeting on Tuesday, 12 months of postpartum Medicaid coverage is required, and it is stated that pregnancy must be considered a qualified life event for special enrollment in the individual insurance market. The AMA also said there is a need to develop a standard definition of maternal mortality, and states and tribes need to get the resources to collect and analyze data on maternal mortality, among other things.

Earlier this year, New Jersey and Illinois expanded coverage to 12 months postpartum. CMS also approved a partial coverage extension – Georgia offers six months of postpartum coverage, and Missouri provides extended postpartum coverage for substance use disorder and mental health care for beneficiaries with substance abuse disorder.

According to Kaiser family foundation, additional states, including Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, plan to take advantage of the American Rescue Plan Act, which takes effect April 1, 2022, and removes barriers for states to authorize annual postpartum Medicaid and CHIP coverage.

The reconciliation package that Democrats want to push through Congress this year will require states to grant 12 months of continuous postpartum eligibility for Medicaid and CHIP.

Virginia’s 12-month postpartum coverage goes into effect Thursday and will run until June 30, 2029, although the state may apply for further extensions. Postpartum people can enroll in the program at any time during the 12 months following pregnancy. The state expects the new coverage to reach 6,000 people.

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