Medicaid has a long history of serving pregnant women, but many women are not eligible for Medicaid before pregnancy or after sixty days postpartum. We used data for new mothers with Medicaid-covered prenatal care in 2015–18 from forty-three states participating in the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) to describe patterns of perinatal uninsurance and health outcomes of women experiencing uninsurance. We found that 26.8 percent of new mothers with Medicaid-covered prenatal care were uninsured before pregnancy, 21.9 percent became uninsured two to six months postpartum, and 34.5 percent were uninsured in either period, with higher perinatal uninsurance rates in nonexpansion states and for Hispanic women who completed the PRAMS survey in Spanish. Together, our findings indicate that despite recent coverage gains, further policy change is needed to help women maintain health insurance coverage before and after pregnancy and to allow them to address ongoing health issues including obesity and depression.
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