Missouri & Alaska on verge of joining 32 other states +DC in extending postpartum Medicaid coverage to a full year

Most of the time when another state extends postpartum Medicaid coverage from two months to a full year, as allowed for under the American Rescue Plan from two years ago, I simply cross-post the official press release from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

This time, however, I have a heads up...it isn't official yet, but it looks like Missouri and Alaska are about to become the 33rd & 34th states to do so. Via David Lieb of the Associated Press:

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Lower-income new mothers could gain a full year of Medicaid health-care coverage in Missouri under legislation given final approval Friday as part of a national push to improve maternal health.

The legislation, which now goes to Gov. Mike Parson, would add Missouri to a growing list of Republican-led states that have previously balked at Medicaid expansions but which are now joining Democratic states in providing 12 months of coverage — instead of the typical 60 days — after women give birth.

“If we want healthy babies, we have to have healthy mammas — and that is so important,” said Republican state Sen. Elaine Gannon, one of the sponsors of the Missouri legislation.

The option for longer Medicaid coverage was made possible under a pandemic relief law signed by President Joe Biden in 2021. About two-thirds of states already have implemented 12 months of postpartum care, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

(For the record, the American Rescue Plan which allows states to do this was passed entirely with Democratic votes.)

The Alaska Legislature on Friday passed legislation extending postpartum Medicaid coverage for new mothers from 60 days to 12 months.

“Postpartum health issues occur far beyond 60 days, and I am pleased the Legislature passed this long overdue bill,” Alaska Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy said in a statement.

Sure enough, via Sean Maguire of the Anchorage Daily News:

JUNEAU — The Alaska Legislature passed a bill Friday that extends Medicaid coverage from two months to one year for thousands of new mothers.

Senate Bill 58, proposed by Alaska Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy, was intended to prevent gaps in health care coverage, and to address the state’s high and rising maternal mortality rate. State Department of Health officials told lawmakers that 51% of births in Alaska are covered by Medicaid.

The Senate passed the final bill 19-1 on Friday with Sen. Mike Shower, a Wasilla Republican, as the lone no vote. The House passed the same legislation Wednesday on a 35-3 vote with Republican Reps. Ben Carpenter, David Eastman and Sarah Vance voting against the bill.