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Addressing Prenatal and Postpartum Coverage Gaps in Medicaid
Data from Elevance Health’s affiliated Medicaid plans in 16 states show that there are gaps in coverage for prenatal and postpartum care, due to delays in when pregnant women access Medicaid managed care benefits and how long after delivery they retain coverage. These gaps may impact their access to recommended prenatal and postpartum care.
Prompt enrollment of eligible pregnant women in a Medicaid plan facilitates early access to prenatal care, allowing for timely risk assessment, patient education, and care coordination. After birth, continued coverage allows for comprehensive and ongoing postpartum care, including screening for physical and behavioral health conditions for which they are at risk.
This study found that just under two-thirds of eligible pregnant women are enrolled in a Medicaid plan six months prior to giving birth and around one third lose their coverage by four months after delivery. States may consider options to modify eligibility and enrollment policies to promote a healthy birth and postpartum period for moms and babies.
Related Public Policy Research
Partnering with Care Providers to Improve Maternal Health
Maternal health disparities are worsening in the U.S., and care provider-focused initiatives are one strategy to improve maternal health outcomes, especially within Medicaid where women are at greater risk for morbidity and mortality.
Addressing Maternal Health Disparities: Doula Access in Medicaid
Several states reimburse for doula services for pregnant women enrolled in Medicaid. Analysis of utilization and outcomes in three states indicates that women receiving doula support have lower odds of cesarean delivery and postpartum depression and anxiety and are more likely to attend their postnatal visit than women not using doulas.