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.
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.