|Posted:||November 18, 2019 02:33 PM|
|From:||Representative Morgan Cephas|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Addressing Maternal Mortality: Medicaid Expansion for Postpartum Women|
|The United States is the only country whose maternal-mortality rate has been steadily rising. Over 700 women a year die of complications related to pregnancy, and two-thirds of those deaths are preventable. Many of these deaths occur during the postpartum period, an important but often neglected part of maternity care. New mothers may be dealing with a range of medical conditions, such as complications from childbirth, pain, depression, or anxiety, all while caring for their newborn and sometimes other children.
In Pennsylvania, pregnancy-related Medicaid eligibility ends 60 days postpartum. As such, many women are left without coverage and are at a greater risk of losing access to critical health services during a time of unmet maternal health needs. By extending Medicaid coverage, health issues that are of high risk to mothers can be addressed, and the number of preventable maternal deaths can be reduced. States that have already extended Medicaid coverage for postpartum women under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have experienced a 50 percent greater reduction in infant mortality than states that have not.
This is why I will be introducing legislation that would require the Secretary of the Department of Human Services to apply for a waiver that would extend Medicaid coverage for pregnancy-related and postpartum medical assistance for up to an additional ten months. This will ensure mothers continue to have access to the necessary services and support for both themselves and their children.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this important and lifesaving piece of legislation.
Introduced as HB2108