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HHS Marks Black Maternal Health Week by Announcing Measures To Improve Maternal Health Outcomes

April 12, 2021

Secretary Becerra Announces Illinois Post-Partum Coverage Available to Medicaid Eligible Women up to 12 months, and New Investment in Maternal and Obstetrics Care in Rural Communities 

New Data: Medicaid expansion and 12-month continuous eligibility for pregnant and postpartum women under the American Rescue Plan can play an important role in ensuring continuity of care and aid in combatting disparities in maternal mortality rates

Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) marked Black Maternal Health Week by announcing actions to expand access to continuous health care coverage and access to preventative care in rural areas to improve maternal health outcomes. HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra announced that Illinois is the first state to provide continuity of full Medicaid benefit coverage for mothers by offering extended eligibility for a woman during the entire first year after delivery. A new data brief shows that more than half of pregnant women in Medicaid experienced a coverage gap in the first 6 months post-partum and disruptions in Medicaid coverage often lead to periods of uninsurance, delayed care, and less preventive care. The American Rescue Plan provides an easier pathway for states to extend Medicaid postpartum coverage from 60 days to 12 months.

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