(WTAJ)– Over half of the country now has access to a year of Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance after Pregnancy (CHIP) including Pennsylvanians.
The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that Pennsylvania and Georgia make it 26 states that have access to a year of Children`s Health Insurance Program and Medicaid coverage after giving childbirth.
About 57,000 people from the two states are expected to be eligible, but the number could be more than ten times higher if all states adopted the option, according to a press release. In total, 720,000 people from across America would be eligible for coverage.
This is all made possible due to the American Rescue Plan (ARP) efforts, which was signed into law by President Biden in March 2021. ARP established a new state plan authority that extends postpartum coverage from 60-days to a year.
Extending Medicaid and CHIP postpartum coverage helps to expand the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of giving Americans access to high-quality, affordable health care.
The announcement goes towards the Biden-Harris Administration`s Maternal Health Blueprint, a comprehensive strategy aimed at improving maternal health, particularly in underserved communities.
“As of today, more than half of states have heeded this call, achieving an important milestone that will significantly impact women and families,” Vice President Kamala Harris said. “Our Administration will keep fighting until every woman has access to expanded postpartum Medicaid coverage.”
Even though half the nation is now eligible, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra called out the remaining states to join.
“To all remaining states: I urge you to join our efforts to support healthy mothers and babies and extend access to this critical care,” Becerra said. “More than half the nation has extended postpartum coverage to a full year after pregnancy. This is a critical milestone in our effort to improve maternal health and equity across the country.
CMS also released data indicating if a hospital participated in a state or national program aimed at improving maternal and child health. In the future, there will be “Birthing-Friendly” designations for hospitals that took part in statewide or national perinatal quality improvement programs.
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More information about Medicaid and CHIP coverage in Pennsylvania and Georgia can be found online.