WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (both D-MN) announced that Minnesota has received approval to extend postpartum coverage for 12 months to individuals enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The extended coverage is made possible by the American Rescue Plan, which Senators Klobuchar and Smith helped pass last year.
“We must address our nation’s unacceptably high maternal mortality rates. Having long fought to improve care for new mothers and babies, this issue is personal to me, and it’s personal to moms across our state,” said Sen. Klobuchar. “I pushed for this funding to help ensure mothers in Minnesota can access the postpartum health coverage that they need.”
“It is just plain unacceptable that a woman giving birth in 1987 had a greater likelihood of surviving childbirth than her daughter does today,” said Sen. Smith. “Thanks to these extended benefits made possible by the American Rescue plan, thousands of underserved women in Minnesota will see extended postpartum health coverage. This is a huge step towards solving the maternal mortality crisis and ensuring mothers in Minnesota, particularly women of color, are able to safely give birth.”
While pregnancy-related deaths are declining around the world, the United States stands out as the only industrialized country with an increasing maternal mortality rate. The problem is particularly acute in communities of color, with Black and Native women more than two and a half times more likely to die from pregnancy–related complications. Maternal mortality is not just the result of what happens in the labor and delivery room. It is often the result of a lack of access to care before and after giving birth. Evidence shows that one third of deaths occur during pregnancy, 17% occur on the day of delivery, and 52% occur after delivery.
As part of efforts to address this crisis, Senators Klobuchar and Smith fought to include extended postpartum health coverage for women on Medicaid and CHIP. Now, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) notified Minnesota that it has received approval to extend postpartum coverage for 12 months to individuals enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), as authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. As a result, approximately 7,000 women in Minnesota will have access to Medicaid or CHIP coverage for a full year after pregnancy, the time they are most at risk of maternal mortality.
The Medicaid state plan amendments can be found here: https://www.medicaid.gov/medicaid/medicaid-state-plan-amendments/index.html.
The CHIP state plan amendments can be found here: https://www.medicaid.gov/chip/state-program-information/index.html.