As states are working diligently to operationalize the unwinding of the Medicaid continuous coverage requirement, State Health and Value Strategies has been tracking the creative strategies states are implementing to minimize coverage losses. This expert perspective highlights all the hard work states are engaged in and spotlights innovative strategies other states may want to consider adopting. SHVS will continue to track and share state efforts to support coverage through the unwinding period. If your state is implementing a new effort to reach enrollees, or if you have questions about how you can implement an example included in this EP, please be in touch.
The American Rescue Plan Act’s State Option to Extend Postpartum Coverage
Kinda Serafi, Kaylee O’Connor and Patricia Boozang, Manatt Health
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) establishes a new state option to extend Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage for pregnant women for one year following the baby’s birth. Under current law, Medicaid and CHIP pregnant women’s coverage extends only through 60 days postpartum. ARP’s new state option to extend continuous coverage for one-year postpartum enables states to take a major step towards improving health outcomes for postpartum women and their babies by mitigating coverage loss, providing comprehensive coverage in the postpartum period to address maternal mortality and morbidity, and advancing health equity. This issue brief reviews the policy and operational considerations for states of the new option to extend postpartum coverage. The issue brief has been updated as of April 1, 2022 to include reference to additional guidance released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on December 7, 2021.