Expansion approved for Medicaid coverage to mother’s postpartum
Governor Laura Kelly announced Tuesday, July 26, that her plan to provide Kansas mothers with health care coverage under Kansas Medicaid (KanCare) up to 12 months post-delivery was approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The postpartum health care extension from two months to a year was approved retroactive to April 1, 2022, and extends coverage for postpartum beneficiaries of Kansas Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). There are more than 500,000 Kansans, or one in five residents, who are enrolled in Kansas Medicaid or CHIP.
“Our efforts to expand health care coverage have paid off, benefiting moms and giving babies a stronger start to life,” Governor Kelly said. “This bipartisan work will reduce maternal mortality, improve child development and save Kansans money on vital health care.”
Medicaid offers comprehensive coverage for new mothers, including routine check-ups to help with recovery from childbirth, behavioral health care, family planning, breastfeeding support and referrals to other services. KanCare mothers will also be able to access select dental services and screenings for postpartum depression.
“The first year after giving birth is a crucial period for both mom and baby. This extension not only improves maternal health options to those who may not have previously benefited, but also provides uninterrupted health care coverage stability,” said Janet Stanek, Secretary of Kansas Department of Health and Environment. “This improvement helps close gaps between health outcomes by placing all communities on a better course toward health and well-being.”
“As a mother, I know how important the first year is and this enhanced period of care for Kansas mothers is vital for their mental health, their baby’s health and their families,” said State Representative Brenda Landwehr. “I am grateful to our state for taking this monumental step to improve maternal health across the state.”
Before the postpartum extension, most Medicaid mothers would lose eligibility for Medicaid benefits around two months postpartum, leaving many new mothers without access to medical and behavioral health care as they recovered from childbirth.
“This policy change, approved today by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, is welcome news and is a win for all Kansans,” said David Jordan, President and CEO of the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund. “It will positively impact thousands of Kansas mothers each year, reducing maternal mortality, improving health outcomes and reducing disparities.”
To learn more about KanCare, visit www.Kancare.KS.gov/.