Expansion of Medicaid Coverage for Pregnant Hoosiers Up to One Year Postpartum

Pregnant Hoosiers on Medicaid coverage have been granted federal approval and can keep their insurance coverage up to one year after birth.

Medicaid covers over forty percent of all births in the United States. Before this approval, residents of Indiana enrolled in Medicaid during pregnancy risked losing their coverage sixty days after giving birth. After the designated period, some individuals may continue to be eligible and maintain their coverage, while others may lose their eligibility. This process, known as medical churning, has resulted in hundreds of thousands of uninsured women annually.

Indiana has now joined twenty-seven other states that have extended Medicaid coverage to a full year following childbirth. The state received federal approval for the move on Thursday from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

“Since more than half of postpartum complications occur after six weeks, extending coverage to a full year will help meet Gov. [Eric] Holcomb’s goal of reducing Indiana’s maternal mortality rate,” Dr. Dan Rusyniak, secretary of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, said in a statement.

Maternal health experts believe extending Medicaid coverage may help reduce pregnancy-related complications. In addition, Medicaid extension could also help address racial disparities in maternal health outcomes.

In Indiana, the postpartum coverage period is available to any individual who meets one of the following criteria:

  • Becomes pregnant while already enrolled in traditional Medicaid, Healthy Indiana Plan Maternity (HIP), or Hoosier Healthwise.
  • Applies and is eligible for Medicaid while pregnant.
  • Applies for Medicaid after the birth of a child and were eligible for Medicaid at the time of applying or in one of the three months before applying.

The federal approval for the extended Medicaid coverage in Indiana is for a five-year period until March 31, 2027.

Source: WFYI news