Parents’ health and access to health insurance coverage, especially for mothers, affects the health and well-being of their children.
Postpartum is a vulnerable time for new mothers and their baby, and this is especially true for women on Medicaid, many of whom are at risk of losing their health insurance coverage just 60 days after the end of pregnancy.
The reality is that half of maternal deaths are post-pregnancy and 3 out of 4 are preventable. And in Kentucky, the rate of Black mothers dying within one year of giving birth is more than twice the rate for White mothers.
We are excited to see efforts being made to prioritize maternal health in House Bill 174, sponsored by Representatives Cantrell and Moser, which would allow for Medicaid coverage to extend up to 12 months postpartum. This bill is advancing through the Kentucky legislature with bipartisan support.
Upon passage of this bill, Kentucky will then need to submit a Medicaid state plan amendment to extend coverage for postpartum women up to 12 months.
Additionally, it is essential that we see Medicaid dollars allocated in the state budget to ensure new moms have continuous, uninterrupted access to care.