Skip to main content

Please wait while loading...


Later Medicaid Health Plan Enrollment Suggests Higher Infant Birth Costs

October 2023
Full report

Data from Elevance Health’s affiliated Medicaid plans show that infant birth costs were significantly higher when women enrolled in a Medicaid plan later in pregnancy compared to earlier in pregnancy. Infants needing care in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) contributed to these higher costs.

Infants covered by Medicaid are at greater risk for poor birth outcomes which could also impose a high cost burden on the healthcare system, including the need for NICU care. Healthcare coverage facilitates access to prenatal care, which is essential to healthy birth outcomes. Timely enrollment into a Medicaid plan early in pregnancy could help individuals obtain access to services while pregnant, subsequently impacting birth outcomes and costs. 

This analysis examines the relationship between the timing of when women enroll in a Medicaid plan and birth costs among their infants. The brief also suggests strategies to enroll women into a Medicaid plan earlier in their pregnancy.


  • Birth Outcomes in Medicaid
  • Access to Prenatal Care
  • Infant Birth Outcomes & Costs
  • Medicaid Managed Care Enrollment

Related Public Policy Research