Cardiovascular conditions are the leading cause of death during and shortly after pregnancy. Almost two-thirds of these deaths could be prevented, experts say.
Yet, maternal mortality rates have more than doubled since data collection began in the U.S. in 1987. More than one in three maternal deaths occur following birth, with cause-specific mortality from heart disease and stroke being highest in the six weeks to a year after giving birth.
After pregnancy, it's important for moms to have access to quality postpartum care, including care for heart health. Extending Medicaid coverage from 60 to 365 days following birth is important to addressing health issues that are discovered during pregnancy or resulting from pregnancy and will allow:
- Lower income pregnant women to obtain comprehensive care coverage so they can get all of the health care services they need to be healthy during and following pregnancy
- Better birth outcomes due to fewer costly medical complications during pregnancy
- Lower risk of health problems for the baby during infancy and long-term benefits throughout growth and development
- A higher rate of women more likely to seek well-child visits and immunizations for their children
- Fewer children at risk for out-of-home placement
- Assistance with early identification and treatment of postpartum depression, quitting smoking, preventing violence, and treating substance use disorders
We all want babies to have the best possible start in life. Ensuring the expectant mother has access to care during pregnancy and for the first year after giving birth is essential for providing a healthy and successful start. To help, the American Heart Association is urging Mississippi lawmakers to extend Medicaid postpartum coverage from 60 to 365 days during the 2023 state legislative session. Multiple pieces of legislation have been filed on this issue, specifically House Bill 426 by Rep. Missy McGee and Senate Bill 2212 by Sen. Kevin Blackwell.
Medicaid and CHIP and the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Preliminary Medicaid and CHIP Data Snapshot (Medicaid.gov) *See page 9 for preliminary data comparing April 2022 to February 2020 show overall enrollment in Medicaid and CHIP for beneficiaries with full, comprehensive, and partial benefits increased by 20%, with the greatest percentage increases found in the pregnant, adult expansion, and adult eligibility groups