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Oregon extends Medicaid coverage for moms to a full year after childbirth

We received exciting news in late June that through our CMS waiver, which AHA submitted comments in support of, Oregon was approved to extend postpartum medical coverage under the Oregon Health Plan (the state’s Medicaid plan). This means qualifying moms may now access physical and behavioral health services for a full year after giving birth.

Caring for women and birthing parents in their reproductive years – while ensuring maternal health is equitable across populations – begins long before pregnancy and lasts well beyond childbirth. Which is why the American Heart Association supports policy solutions that are sustainable and impactful for preventing maternal death and ensuring all mothers can live healthy lives before, during and after giving birth, like expanding access to care postpartum.

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hero_image_alt_text===A woman feeding a baby with a bottle
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thumbnail_alt_text===A woman feeding a baby with a bottle

Pregnancy-related deaths are two to three times higher among black non-Latino and American Indian/Alaska Native populations compared to white populations and one in three pregnancy-related deaths occur between one week and one year after childbirth. Heart disease and stroke contribute to approximately 1 in 3 of these deaths, elevating the importance of early interventions that improve maternal health for all mothers. Medicaid covers 42% of births in the nation. The extension of coverage is aimed at advancing Oregon Health Authority’s (OHA) goal of eliminating health inequities by 2030.

The postpartum period is an important time for physical recovery; addressing pregnancy spacing and family planning needs; managing chronic conditions that may have been exacerbated during pregnancy; providing breastfeeding support; and ensuring mental health. During the 2023 legislative session, AHA will be working to ensure that funding for this exciting and essential expansion is secured.

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