This Commonwealth Fund brief synthesizes two Urban Institute reports on the public health insurance landscape for pregnant and postpartum women and the potential of a postpartum coverage extension to close coverage gaps. We find the following:
- Our current system of publicly supported coverage options for pregnant and postpartum women is a complex patchwork that varies tremendously by income, immigration status, and state, leaving many new mothers uninsured.
- Approximately 123,000 of the nation’s estimated 440,000 women uninsured during the first year postpartum would likely be newly eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) if pregnancy-related coverage were extended for 12 months.
- Together with existing Medicaid and Marketplace coverage, such an extension would mean 70 percent of uninsured women would likely be eligible for some type of publicly subsidized coverage during the postpartum period.
- Extending pregnancy-related Medicaid/CHIP coverage for 12 months postpartum could increase the number of Americans with insurance during the postpartum period while expanding access to needed health care.