The Wolf Administration announced Pennsylvania’s intent to extend the postpartum coverage period for mothers eligible for Medicaid because of their pregnancy. This would allow thousands of birthing parents to continue to access physical and behavioral healthcare necessary to keep themselves and their families healthy.
“Access to healthcare is essential to wellbeing. Ending pregnancy-related coverage for mothers covered through Medicaid just 60 days after birth risks mothers going without necessary and potentially life-saving care,” said Department of Human Services Acting Secretary Meg Snead. “The first year post-birth is a critical time for the entire family’s health and wellbeing and this expansion will help mothers maintain relationships with care providers undisrupted. As our nation seeks to reverse rising trends in maternal mortality, this coverage can help us save lives and is a necessary investment in maternal-child health across Pennsylvania.”
Federal law requires Medicaid to extend eligibility for pregnant women with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level for 60 days following the birth of a baby. Under the American Rescue Plan Act, states are able to implement a new state plan option beginning April 1, 2022, to expand the Medicaid postpartum coverage period for mothers to one year following the birth of a baby.
The postpartum expansion will be available to states to take effect in April 2022. A formal declaration of intent to expand the postpartum coverage period will be submitted to the federal government once guidance is issued to states from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.