Baltimore, Maryland, April 2 — The US Department of Health and Social Services Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued the following press release on April 1, 2022:
The Biden-Harris administration announces that as of today, no less than 720,000 pregnant and postpartum women across United States could be guaranteed Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for 12 full months after pregnancy through the American Rescue Plan (ARP). Medicaid covers 42 percent of all births nationwide, and this new option for states to expand Medicaid and CHIP coverage marks the Biden-Harris Administration last push to address the national crisis of pregnancy-related deaths and maternal morbidity by opening the door to postpartum care for hundreds of thousands of people.
In addition to related updates in the 2023 Federal Budget Request (https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/budget_fy2023.pdf), for example, in December 2021vice president Kamala Harris hosted the first-ever Federal Day of Action on Maternal Health, where she announced a call to action (https://gcc02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww .whitehouse.gov%2Fbriefing -room%2Fstatements-releases%2F2021%2F12%2F07%2Ffact-sheet-vice-president-kamala-harris-announces-a-call-to-action-to-reduce-mortality -and-the-morbidity, maternal% 2F & data = 04% 7C01% 7Cdaniel.trucil% 40cms.hhs.gov% 7Cc6313aa8f83a49affdd608da13d39c8b% 7c0% 7c0% 7Cd58addea50534a808499ba4d944910df 7C637844096835619444%%% 7CUnknown 7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0% 3D% 7C3000% = & sdata 2FJvmmW03LObFoEeRDafpWzzh0k9MzhFY% 2FtM0odUcRDw% 3D and reserved = 0) both the public and private sectors to help improve health outcomes for parents and children by United States. Today’s announcements are part of the Biden-Harris Administration continued response to this call to action to support safe pregnancies and births, and reduce complications and mortality in the year after birth.
“Having postpartum care can save lives and lead to better long-term health outcomes for new parents and newborns,” the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) said. Xavier Becerra. “Thanks to of President Biden American bailout, we are able to make it easier for states like Louisiana to give thousands more pregnant and postpartum people across the country access to affordable, high-quality coverage during the critical first year after birth. The Biden-Harris administration has made maternal health and equity a priority, and we strive to ensure that every parent has access to the care they and their child deserve. »
Louisiana, the first CMS state approving to take advantage of this new state plan opportunity under the ARP, today began offering its enhanced coverage to approximately 14,000 pregnant and postpartum individuals. CMS is also working with nine other states to expand postpartum coverage. In 2021, Illinois, New Jerseyand Virginia were the first states to use the Medicaid Demonstration Authority to provide 12 months of continuous postpartum coverage to all Medicaid and CHIP enrollees. Additionally, a number of other states have announced that they are working to expand Medicaid coverage to 12 months post-pregnancy, and CMS looks forward to working with these states. In order to receive federal funds and ensure consistency with federal standards, including those established by the ARP, states must go through a formal process administered by CMS.
“This is a historic step for states to partner with us to provide lifesaving coverage for those postpartum – and to meaningfully address the maternal health crisis. For too long, families have been left behind by a health system that severs ties to care when it is most needed,” said the CMS administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “Everyone deserves the opportunity to achieve and maintain health. America’s bailout has created a pathway to connect pregnant women to lifesaving health coverage throughout that critical first year after birth. , and I urge every state to adopt this option to expand lifesaving postpartum coverage.”
Under existing requirements, many Medicaid and CHIP enrollees receive coverage through the end of the month in which their 60-day postpartum period ends. Maintaining Medicaid and CHIP coverage for a full year provides access to essential health care services in the first year after pregnancy, which can help address persistent health disparities. One-third of maternal deaths occur between a week and a year after pregnancy ends, and maternal mortality rates are up to five times higher among black and Native American/Alaska Native people than among their white peers .
Start April 1, 2022, ARP’s new state plan option offers state Medicaid and CHIP agencies the ability to provide 12 months of continuous postpartum coverage. States that choose to expand postpartum coverage must choose this option in both Medicaid and their separate CHIP programs, if applicable, and submit the required state plan changes to CMS. The new ARP State Plan option is currently limited to a five-year term ending on March 31, 2027.
states like Louisiana who adopt the new expanded postpartum coverage must provide coverage to all eligible individuals who were enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP during their pregnancy. This extended coverage period will last from the day the pregnancy ends until the end of the month in which the 12-month postpartum period ends.
The postpartum coverage option extends to current beneficiaries who are enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP while pregnant but are no longer pregnant when the state implements the PRA option, if the person is in their postpartum period. -12 months partum when her state implements the option. This also applies to people who were pregnant at any time in the three months before applying for Medicaid, if they met the eligibility requirements at that time.
The advancement of this state plan option comes at a critical time for pregnant women and families, many of whom rely on continued Medicaid and CHIP coverage for the ongoing care they need during the postpartum period. Continuity of coverage can help postpartum people manage chronic conditions, such as hypertension and diabetes, that last well beyond the first 60 days postpartum, as well as provide access to health care behavioral and other mental health care services.
Other states interested in learning more about expanding postpartum coverage through PRA can contact their CMS state official or see the official state health letter (https://www.medicaid .gov/federal-policy-guidance/downloads/sho21007.pdf) CMS issued in December 2021.