Extending post-partum coverage for Hoosiers receiving Medicaid
By Dr. Kimberly Roop
Although more than 40% of mothers who deliver babies receive Medicaid coverage, those benefits only lasted 60 days following delivery, until recently. Since more than half of post-partum complications occur more than six weeks after delivery, continued health coverage for women is critical.
Thankfully, Indiana legislators and the Holcomb administration put mothers first and successfully appealed to the federal government to extend post-partum Medicaid coverage to one year.
As an obstetrician, I have seen first-hand how important quality health care is beyond the immediate post-partum period for treatment and resolution of health concerns like high blood pressure and diabetes. With the approval of the 12-month extension for Postpartum Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Plan coverage, Hoosier mothers will now have peace of mind, knowing they and their babies will be covered.
Our state and federal leaders, including the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, understand how critical it is that we reduce infant and maternal mortality rates in Indiana. Extending post-partum Medicaid coverage to a full year is a tangible step toward this goal, ensuring mothers and babies are covered throughout the first year of their child’s life.
I am grateful that our state’s legislators and governor continue to prioritize the health of pregnant women and their babies. In a state where the rate of smoking during pregnancy was above the national average, in 2019 Indiana became one of the first states to allow the purchase of tobacco-cessation products without a prescription. In addition, Medicaid co-payments on tobacco-cessation products were eliminated for mothers for up to a year after a child’s birth.
The post-partum Medicaid coverage extension will apply to anyone who received maternity care from Medicaid since April 1, 2022. This post-partum coverage will be available to anyone who becomes pregnant while already enrolled in traditional Medicaid, Healthy Indiana Plan or Hoosier Healthwise. Mothers who apply for Medicaid while pregnant or within three months of their pregnancy are eligible for this coverage as well.
We encourage all Hoosiers to join us in supporting the advancement of maternal health care as Indiana leaders continue to take steps to reduce our state’s maternal mortality rate.
Editor’s note: Dr. Kimberly Roop is the Medicaid Plan president for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana, which serves more than 750,000 Medicaid members through the state’s Hoosier Healthwise, Hoosier Care Connect and Healthy Indiana Plan health insurance programs, as well as a Foundation board member.