States Expanding Medicaid Coverage of Maternity Services for Low-Income Women

By Consumers for Quality Care, on June 7, 2022

States Expanding Medicaid Coverage of Maternity Services for Low-Income Women

A new Kaiser Family Foundation study, reported by Axios, found that more states are expanding Medicaid coverage for maternity services for low-income women.

More attention has been drawn to maternal health standards nationwide due to rising rates of pregnancy-related deaths, especially in Black and Native American communities.

Medicaid currently pays for more than four in 10 births in the U.S., but coverage can end after 60 days postpartum. Recently, more than half of the states have moved to lengthen the postpartum coverage beyond 60 days.

In addition, more than half of the states cover home births under Medicaid, which has gained more popularity during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. However, coverage for services outside of medical settings is mixed, with most states paying for home visits but limiting coverage for educational classes and home-based lactation consultations.

And while very few states offer coverage for fertility assistance services, eight states have commenced initiatives to address substance use or mental health services for pregnant or postpartum beneficiaries.

CQC applauds states that have taken action to combat long-standing inequities in maternal mortality rates among low-income women and in communities of color. CQC also urges lawmakers to act, including passing components of Rep. Lauren Underwood’s Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act to deliver on maternal health for all mothers in the United States.