Pregnant Woman

More than 600,000 people are disenrolled from Medicaid each year after giving birth, according to a new analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Researchers say disenrollment could be prevented if all states were to take up a new option to extend Medicaid postpartum coverage to 12 months.

KFF’s estimate, based on analysis of Medicaid claims data from 2018, finds that 610,000 postpartum women were disenrolled within a year of giving birth, accounting for about 40% of the 1.5 million Medicaid enrollees with live births that year. A new federally funded state option to extend postpartum care was created by a provision in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA). The new option took effect on April 1, 2022, and is available to states for five years.

The option — adopted by 33 states so far, according to KFF — is receiving renewed attention amid rising maternal mortality rates and following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. KFF researchers claim that state policy decisions about Medicaid postpartum coverage could be especially impactful in states set to restrict abortion access, since the high court’s ruling could affect the number of births in the U.S. covered by Medicaid.

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