Biden-Harris Administration Announces New York’s Medicaid and CHIP Postpartum Coverage Expansion; 35 States & D.C. Now Offer Full Year of Coverage After Pregnancy
Thanks to the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to strengthen maternal health, an estimated 509,000 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 New York’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. New York is the 35th 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.
“New York’s decision to extend postpartum coverage for a full year after pregnancy marks a significant milestone for improving maternal health,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “The Biden-Harris Administration has demonstrated leadership in confronting the nation’s maternal mortality and morbidity crisis, and HHS will continue to support policies and programs that help ensure the health of mothers and babies.”
“New York’s efforts reflect the groundswell of support for setting families on firm footing by extending postpartum coverage to a full year after pregnancy,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “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 26,000 people in New York 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 New York’s plan, an estimated 509,000 Americans across 35 states and the District of Columbia 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 – and because of the ARP and other Biden-Harris Administration efforts, the uninsured rate is being driven to historic lows. 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. New York 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; New Jersey; New Mexico; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota, Tennessee; Virginia; Washington; Washington, D.C.; and West Virginia. CMS continues to work with other states that have proposed adopting the ARP 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.