Baltimore, MD ? The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) today announced an expansion of Medicaid coverage for pregnant beneficiaries. The expansion will extend the period during which new mothers are eligible for postpartum care services from 60 days to 12 months.

“By expanding postpartum care, Maryland has increased access to care during one of the most crucial times for new mothers, parents, and babies,” said MDH Secretary Dennis R. Schrader. “This care is critical to helping set mothers on a path toward a healthier future and ensuring a healthy start for Maryland families.”

Effective April 1, 2022, Medicaid-eligible pregnant individuals will be able to access full Medicaid benefits for the duration of their pregnancy and the 12-month postpartum period, regardless of any changes in income or household size. The 12-month postpartum coverage period will begin on the last day of the pregnancy and end on the last day of the 12th month. 

“With this expansion, pregnant Medicaid recipients will not only be able to receive comprehensive medical and dental benefits, but also essential postpartum care services,” said Dr. Shelly Choo, director of MDH’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau. “Services including management of chronic conditions and common mental health issues, such as postpartum depression, and guidance on topics like birth spacing and healthy eating, can help save the lives of mothers and children.”

Maternal and child health is a top population health priority for the state. It is a primary focus of Maryland’s Statewide Integrated Health Improvement Strategy, a coordinated public-private initiative to improve health, reduce disparities, and transform healthcare delivery. 

“Medicaid covers almost 40 percent of births in Maryland,” said Deputy Secretary for Health Care Financing and Medicaid Steve Schuh. “The expansion of Medicaid postpartum benefits to 12 months strengthens continuity of care for more than 25,000 new mothers in the state per year. As we keep working to improve health outcomes, these extended benefits will play an even bigger role in reducing maternal morbidity and mortality rates.”

For more information about Medicaid coverage for pregnant individuals, visit https://health.maryland.gov/mmcp/healthchoice.


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