Highlighting State Innovation to Close Coverage Gaps in Perinatal Care for Noncitizens

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Under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, states are now beginning to disenroll individuals newly ineligible for Medicaid, whose coverage had been extended under COVID-19 pandemic-era rules. Commentators across the political spectrum emphasize the need to pursue alternative coverage options for vulnerable populations, including pregnant or postpartum individuals currently enrolled in Medicaid. Low-income individuals whose Medicaid eligibility was tied to postpartum care may initially bear the brunt of unwinding continuous enrollment. Given the national focus on addressing the maternal health crisis, states should consider closing significant coverage gaps in perinatal care for noncitizens. This Viewpoint highlights key steps that states could take to expand perinatal care coverage for noncitizens. The Biden administration aims to reduce gaps in coverage by encouraging states to elect to cover 12 months of postpartum care for Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA).

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