CMS Extends Medicaid Postpartum Coverage in New Jersey for Over 8,000 People
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced today that an estimated 8,700 postpartum New Jerseyans will be guaranteed to maintain their Medicaid coverage for 12 months after the end of the pregnancy. This important step will help New Jersey to provide pregnancy-related care with the goal of preventing unnecessary postpartum-related illness and death. Today’s announcement is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to address the nation’s crisis in pregnancy-related deaths and to improve the health outcomes among underserved communities through access to critical care.
“Becoming a parent is among life’s greatest milestones, but sadly paired with significant challenges for many in low-income communities,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “I applaud New Jersey for taking action to provide vital care for new parents and their precious babies. Expanding postpartum coverage will not only improve health outcomes among families of color— it will save lives. The Biden-Harris Administration encourages states across the country to follow New Jersey’s example to support healthy parents and infants.”
“Our country is facing a maternal health crisis, and it is disproportionately harming people of color,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “Access to postpartum care is critical to keeping our nation’s families healthy. That’s why CMS is proud to partner with New Jersey today to expand postpartum health coverage and advance health equity for thousands of low-income people covered by Medicaid and CHIP.”
This amendment to the New Jersey FamilyCare Comprehensive Demonstration aligns with coverage options available under the American Rescue Plan (ARP). Beginning on April 1, 2022, states will have the option to extend coverage for postpartum individuals beyond the required 60-day postpartum period through the end of the month in which a 12-month postpartum period ends.
The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to addressing the health disparities that underlie our health system. Actions under the Build Back Better agenda will provide significant funding towards improving maternal health and tackling health disparities. On April 12, 2021, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recognized Black Maternal Health Week by announcing actions to expand access to continuous health care coverage as well as access to preventive care in rural areas in order to improve maternal health outcomes. The Administration also issued the first ever presidential proclamation on Black Maternal Health Week, calling on all Americans to recognize the importance of addressing the crisis of Black maternal mortality and morbidity in this country.
Medicaid covers nearly one in five women of reproductive age and makes pregnancy-related care accessible for more than 40 percent of people giving birth. Currently, a third of maternal deaths occur between one week to a year after childbirth, and Black women suffer three to four times more pregnancy-related deaths than white women. Providing continued Medicaid and CHIP coverage helps ensure access to the ongoing care people need during the postpartum period. The continuity of coverage available through this demonstration can help postpartum people manage chronic conditions like hypertension and diabetes, and provide access to behavioral health and other mental health care services.
This demonstration amendment will also ensure that the state can receive the enhanced funding for expenditures related to eligible people who remain covered through the demonstration and who would otherwise qualify for the Medicaid expansion adult group.
As part of this approval, New Jersey has agreed to undertake monitoring and evaluation of the demonstration for the extension period, in alignment with any applicable CMS-provided technical assistance.
For more information on the amendment to the section 1115 New Jersey FamilyCare Comprehensive Demonstration, visit: https://www.medicaid.gov/medicaid/section-1115-demo/demonstration-and-waiver-list/82571.