CMS: With Missouri approval, 40 states now offer full year of Medicaid coverage after pregnancy!
Thanks to the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to strengthen maternal health, an estimated 641,000 Americans annually are now eligible for essential care for a full year after pregnancy.
Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), announced Missouri’s extension of comprehensive coverage after pregnancy through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for postpartum individuals for a full 12 months. Today’s announcement marks critical progress in implementing the CMS Maternity Care Action Plan, which supports the Biden-Harris Administration’s Maternal Health Blueprint, a comprehensive strategy aimed at improving maternal health, particularly in underserved communities. Missouri is the 40th state to be approved for the extended coverage, made possible by President Biden’s American Rescue Plan (ARP) and made permanent by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 (CAA, 2023), which President Biden signed into law earlier this year.
“I applaud Missouri’s decision to extend postpartum coverage for a full year after delivery. Today’s announcement marks another important milestone in the effort to confront the nation’s maternal mortality and morbidity crisis,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “The Biden-Harris Administration continues to demonstrate its commitment to improve maternal health. HHS continues to support policies and programs that help ensure the health of mothers and babies. I urge all remaining states to extend postpartum coverage to do so.”
“We are thrilled that Missouri has taken action to extend postpartum coverage to a full year after pregnancy in Medicaid,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “Missouri is the 40th state to extend this coverage. The Biden-Harris Administration has prioritized maternal health and will continue to do so until all 50 states and every U.S. territory can offer pregnant women and their families the lifeline that comes with connections to health coverage.”
As a result of today’s announcement, up to an additional 18,000 people in Missouri will be eligible for Medicaid for a full year after pregnancy. Medicaid covers 41% of all births in the nation and more than half of all children in the country. With the approval of Missouri’s plan, an estimated 641,000 Americans across 40 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands now have access to extended postpartum coverage. If all states adopted this option, as many as 720,000 people across the United States would be guaranteed Medicaid and CHIP coverage for 12 months after pregnancy.
The Biden-Harris Administration has made expanding access to high-quality, affordable health care a top priority. Extending Medicaid and CHIP postpartum coverage is an important part of these efforts.
Under this option, states may extend postpartum coverage through Medicaid and CHIP from the current mandatory 60-day period to 12 months. Missouri is the most recent state to extend Medicaid and CHIP coverage to 12 months following pregnancy, joining Alabama; Arizona; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Illinois; Indiana; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Montana; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wyoming; and the U.S Virgin Islands and Washington, D.C. CMS continues to work with other states that have proposed adopting the option to extend postpartum coverage to 12 months.
This option for states to extend Medicaid and CHIP postpartum coverage is part of ongoing efforts through HHS and the Biden-Harris Administration to address disparities in maternal health outcomes by opening the door to postpartum care for hundreds of thousands of people.
States expanding postpartum coverage is especially crucial in light of the recent release of maternal mortality rates, which show that, in 2021, 1,205 women died of maternal causes in the United States, compared with 861 in 2020 and 754 in 2019. One in three pregnancy-related deaths occur between six weeks and one year after childbirth. The postpartum period is critical for recovering from childbirth, addressing complications of delivery, ensuring mental health, managing infant care, and transitioning from obstetric to primary care.