On April 1, 2022, the Facilities for Medicare & Medicaid Companies (“CMS”) introduced states might search to increase Medicaid postpartum protection from 60 days to at least one 12 months by means of a brand new state plan choice supplied by the American Rescue Plan Act (“ARPA”). The brand new state plan choice permits state Medicaid and Youngsters’s Well being Insurance coverage Program (“CHIP”) companies to supply 12 months of steady postpartum protection, no matter any modifications in circumstances, by means of a state plan modification (“SPA”). This feature is offered for 5 years and ends on March 31, 2027.
States that select to increase postpartum protection should elect this selection in each their Medicaid and CHIP packages. The prolonged protection interval begins on the ultimate day of being pregnant and lasts by means of the top of month during which the 12-month postpartum interval ends. People are entitled to prolonged postpartum protection whatever the purpose the being pregnant ends.
Protection have to be offered to all eligible people who have been enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP whereas pregnant. Postpartum protection extends to present beneficiaries who enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP whereas pregnant and are inside their 12-month postpartum interval when their state implements the choice, even when they’re now not pregnant. People who have been pregnant at a while inside the three months previous to making use of for Medicaid, and met the eligibility necessities at the moment, additionally qualify for the prolonged protection interval.
Louisiana was the primary state authorised by CMS for the prolonged protection interval and started providing enhanced protection to roughly 14,000 pregnant and postpartum girls. CMS has introduced it’s working intently with 9 different states to increase postpartum protection.
Beneath present federal regulation, Medicaid beneficiaries are entitled to steady protection by means of the final day of the month during which the 60-day postpartum interval ends. On the finish of the 60-day interval, some postpartum girls have continued pathways to protection. Moms with incomes as much as 138% of the federal poverty degree (“FPL”) in states which have expanded Medicaid beneath the Reasonably priced Care Act (“ACA”) are eligible to stay coated by Medicaid and people with incomes above 138% FPL could also be eligible to qualify for backed protection by means of the ACA market. In states that haven’t expanded Medicaid, nonetheless, many postpartum girls lose protection.
Previous to the choice offered by ARPA, states may use a Part 1115 waiver or state funds to increase protection. Part 1115 waivers, which require CMS approval, present states with flexibility to design and enhance their Medicaid program by implementing state-specific coverage approaches that higher serve their particular Medicaid populations. Nearly three-quarters of states and the District of Columbia have taken actions to increase postpartum Medicaid eligibility, together with by means of authorised and pending Part 1115 waivers, laws which requires the state to hunt federal approval by means of an SPA or Part 1115 waiver, submission and approval of SPAs, and protection financed solely with state funds. Nevertheless, states differ within the phrases of their postpartum protection growth. Some states, resembling Georgia and Texas, solely present an extra six months of postpartum protection. Missouri’s prolonged postpartum protection is restricted solely to girls with a substance use dysfunction.
The COVID-19 pandemic has additionally affected Medicaid postpartum protection. The Households First Coronavirus Restoration Act, handed on March 18, 2020, consists of elevated federal funding for state Medicaid companies to supply care in the course of the nationwide public well being emergency. One situation of the improved federal matching funds is the requirement for states to supply steady protection for Medicaid enrollees till the top of the month during which the general public well being emergency ends. Girls whose protection would in any other case have been terminated on the finish of the 60-day postpartum interval have remained enrolled in Medicaid till the top of the general public well being emergency. Nevertheless, the pending expiration of the general public well being emergency later this month means many new moms could possibly be left with out protection and care.
The growth of postpartum protection is a crucial alternative for states and the federal authorities to enhance maternal and postpartum well being outcomes in addition to deal with racial healthcare disparities. Roughly 33% of maternal deaths happen greater than seven days after supply and 12% happen greater than six weeks after beginning. Black girls have a maternal mortality price 3.3 occasions that of White girls and American Indian or Alaska Native girls are 2.5 occasions extra prone to die from pregnancy-related causes than White girls.
Whereas the growth of postpartum protection alone doesn’t present an answer to those points, it’s a step in the fitting route. Growth of postpartum protection has been demonstrated to extend the usage of postpartum outpatient care and stability of postpartum protection. Given the numerous position Medicaid performs on this space, as it’s the largest single payer of pregnancy-related companies and covers 42% of births, this coverage represents a crucial transfer in the direction of enhancing maternal well being.
 Kaiser Household Basis, Medicaid Postpartum Protection Extension Tracker (Mar. 31, 2022).
 Emily E. Peterson, et. al., Very important Indicators: Being pregnant-Associated Deaths, United States, 2011–2015, and Methods for Prevention, 13 States, 2013–2017, 68 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 423–29 (2019).
 Madeline Y. Sutton, et. al., Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Reproductive Well being Companies and Outcomes, 2020, 137 Obstetrics & Gynecology 225 – 233 (Feb. 2021).
 Sarah H. Gordon, et. al., Results of Medicaid Growth on Postpartum Protection and Outpatient Utilization, 39 Well being Aff. 77-84 (2020).
 Nationwide Heart for Well being Statistics, Start Knowledge (June 14, 2021).