At the end of the federal public health emergency, states will need to redetermine eligibility for nearly all Medicaid enrollees in the largest healthcare event since the Affordable Care Act. In order to avoid potential coverage losses, states will need to communicate with enrollees and other stakeholders about the actions they need to take to keep individuals enrolled in Medicaid or transition to another form of health coverage. One way that states are promoting transparency in their communications and planning efforts is through the public release of their unwinding operational plans. This expert perspective highlights several states that have made their unwinding operational plans publicly available as well as examples of states’ ongoing communication efforts, including outreach campaigns to Medicaid enrollees, strategies for collaborating with stakeholders, and collaborative initiatives within Marketplace states. This expert perspective has been updated as of November 17, 2022 to reflect recently released state unwinding operational plans.
Medicaid’s Crucial Role in Combating the Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Crisis
Patti Boozang, Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, and Gayle Mauser, Manatt Health
Medicaid has a pivotal role in improving national health outcomes for pregnant and postpartum women. Nearly half of all U.S. births are financed by Medicaid. Medicaid-enrolled pregnant women are more likely than women enrolled in private coverage to have had a preterm birth, to have had a low birthweight baby, and to experience certain chronic conditions (e.g., diabetes)—putting them at higher risk for poor maternal outcomes. States have flexibility to shape Medicaid policy related to maternal care, including who is covered, the duration of their coverage, the benefits they receive, and the delivery system through which they receive care. Further, state Medicaid agencies, in partnership with sister agencies, can use their purchasing power and “bully pulpit” to drive broader policy and cultural change to improve maternal health outcomes and the lives and health of mothers and of their children.
This issue brief, developed by our colleagues at Manatt Health, describes select policy and strategy levers that Medicaid agencies can employ to improve maternal health outcomes and address outcome disparities in five areas: coverage, enrollment, benefits, models of care, and quality improvement. In some cases, the Medicaid agency will be responsible for implementing these policies; in other cases, the Medicaid agency can lead collaboration with other state agencies such as the public health department or the state marketplace.
On March 11, State Health and Value Strategies hosted a companion webinar that highlighted and discussed select strategies from the issue brief.