Idaho moms deserve the best - that is why we believe in extending postpartum Medicaid coverage

Our partners at Idaho Kids Covered have recently released the Idaho Maternal and Infant Health Report, which shows a troubling trend in Idaho regarding maternal and infant mortality. Between 2019 and 2020, maternal mortality more than doubled, increasing by 104%, and many low-income children are not receiving well child checkups or recommended developmental screenings, meaning they are missing early detection opportunities for chronic diseases and health conditions. Sadly the report also indicated that 100% of maternal deaths in the past year were preventable. These numbers are tragic, and we can do something to fix these alarming trends.

Comprehensive health care before, during, and after pregnancy reduces risks to both mother and baby, improving birth outcomes. Currently, Idaho provides only 60 days of postpartum coverage, but extending postpartum health care coverage to a full year would help ensure new mothers obtain vital care they need at the most vulnerable time. Increasing the income eligibility for pregnant women would also provide stability and consistency for families with new babies without worrying about losing health care coverage. 

You may wonder why the American Heart Association cares about this issue, well it’s because there is a growing body of evidence shows some of the most dangerous pregnancy-related complications – preeclampsia, blood clots, and heart problems such as cardiomyopathy – may not surface until weeks or months after delivery. These issues are rising in prevalence, and mothers need access to care during this high-risk time frame. The AHA believes all mothers deserve quality care and coverage before, during, and after pregnancy.

Improving postpartum care new parents receive will ensure healthy mothers and help provide a strong foundation for Idaho’s babies. If you’re interested in learning more, or getting involved, please reach out to me at [email protected], to help us create a healthier place for Idaho moms and babies!

hero_image_alt_text===A woman holding a young baby
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