The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), approved the extension of Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage for 12 months after pregnancy in North Carolina. As a result, up to an additional 28,000 will now be eligible for Medicaid or CHIP for a full year after pregnancy in North Carolina. With today’s approval, in combination with previously approved state extensions, an estimated 361,000 Americans annually in 24 states and D.C. are eligible for 12 months of postpartum coverage. If all states adopted this option, as many as 720,000 people across the United States would be guaranteed Medicaid and CHIP coverage for 12 months after pregnancy.
The Biden-Harris Administration has made expanding access to high-quality, affordable health care a top priority – and because of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and other Administration efforts, more people than ever before have health insurance coverage. Extending Medicaid postpartum coverage is an important part of these efforts.
In addition to the postpartum extension in North Carolina, the Biden-Harris Administration is also highlighting that, beginning in October 2022, all 50 states and D.C. will offer dental coverage for Medicaid enrollees who are pregnant and postpartum through at least 60 days after pregnancy. This change means that an even broader array of critical Medicaid benefits will be available during and after pregnancy.
“We are thrilled to have North Carolina join our efforts to support healthy parents and babies by offering critical coverage through the first full year after pregnancy,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “The Biden-Harris Administration has made addressing the maternal health crisis an urgent priority, and actions like today’s extension in North Carolina are a key part of our work. We are continuing to do all we can to strengthen Medicaid and CHIP and ensure all families and children get the high-quality, affordable health care they deserve.”
“North Carolina joins a growing list of state partners choosing to prioritize health care coverage in the critical first year after pregnancy,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “The American Rescue Plan serves as a foundation to support the health and wellbeing of postpartum women and families. Thanks to the Administration’s Maternal Health Blueprint, including CMS’ own Maternity Care Action Plan, we’re continuing to improve maternal health across the country.”