Medicaid coverage for new mothers in Michigan can continue for up to a year postpartum under a new expansion of Medicaid approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
The program expansion is budgeted for an additional $20 million and is estimated to benefit 35,000 pregnant and postpartum residents annually, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office announced Monday.
Under the existing program, Medicaid enrollee pregnancy coverage runs through the end of the month of birth or end of pregnancy with an additional 60 days postpartum.
The expansion of coverage is designed to reduce maternal mortality and aid in continued care for chronic conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, drug abuse and depression, the governor’s office said in a press release.
Michigan reported a maternal mortality rate of 16.5 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in 2019, the latest available data from the CMS, much lower than states like Georgia that tops 40 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births.
“Being able to ensure continuity of care for Michigan moms and babies is critical to reducing preventable deaths and will lead to better long-term health outcomes for new parents and newborns,” Elizabeth Hertel, director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, said in the release. “Extending Medicaid postpartum coverage will assist the state in its continued efforts to improve access to care for all Michigan families and equitable health outcomes.”
This story first appeared in our sister publication, Crain’s Detroit Business.