Postpartum Medicaid expansion is too important to give up on

With the 2023 legislative session coming up quickly we wanted to give you an update on an important issue – extending postpartum Medicaid coverage to a full 12 months. Last session we supported legislation to extend coverage but were not successful. This is an important issue and that is why we are not giving up. There is a movement nationwide to extend coverage to a full year, so far 34 states and Washington DC have extended coverage and we hope Utah will join them soon.

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. Healthy mothers are often the foundation of healthy families.

hero_image_alt_text===A woman giving a baby a bottle
thumbnail_alt_text===A woman giving a baby a bottle

Pregnancy related deaths have been on the rise in Utah for the last decade. In 2017, Utah experienced 17.3 deaths for every 100,000 live births in the state, many of which were preventable. Currently in the state of Utah, women covered by Medicaid are only offered 60 days of postpartum care. However, according to Utah Perinatal Maternal Mortality Review, 65% of Utah’s pregnancy-related deaths happen between 43 and 365 days after birth. In order to ensure that all mothers have access to care during that critical time, postpartum Medicaid must be extended to one year. 

We hope we can count on your support for this issue during the 2023 legislative session.

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