Conversations with maternal health stakeholders examine what steps could be taken to increase Medicaid coverage continuity for new mothers once the COVID-19 public health emergency ends.
Legislation passed during the COVID-19 pandemic prevents states from disenrolling people from Medicaid amid the ongoing public health emergency, including new mothers. However, when the public health emergency ends, pregnancy-related Medicaid coverage will once again end 60-days postpartum.
Researchers interviewed national maternal health leaders and stakeholders in four states (Georgia, Illinois, Mississippi, and New Jersey) who discussed steps policymakers can take to increase coverage continuity during the postpartum period following the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency, including:
Extending the redetermination catch-up period to 12 months after the public health emergency expires.
Effectively communicating expiration of the continuous enrollment requirement and supporting coverage transitions.
Facilitating transitions to Marketplace coverage for those losing Medicaid eligibility but eligible for premium subsidies.
Supporting access to and use of postpartum healthcare.
The United States has been facing a maternal morbidity and mortality crisis in which more than half of maternal deaths occur after delivery, highlighting the importance on postpartum coverage. Lessons learned during the public health emergency can inform improvements to coverage transitions and under future postpartum extensions.
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Maternal Health Inequity During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Maternal mortality and serious morbidity rates are considerably higher in the United States than in other wealthy nations, and women of color are bearing the brunt of this crisis.