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Alabama Extends Medicaid Coverage for Moms after Childbirth

"Women in Alabama who qualify for Medicaid during pregnancy will have coverage for a year after giving birth under the state’s new budget, an extension of the coverage that has ended after 60 days.

"The General Fund budget Gov. Kay Ivey signed into law... weeks ago includes $4 million to extend the postpartum coverage for Medicaid.

A total of $8.5 million will be applied to the extension, including funds the Alabama Medicaid Agency previously designated."

Continued Reference Mike Cason, (April 21, 2022):

The extension is a one-year pilot program. Lawmakers want the Medicaid Agency to review the costs, use of the services, and health outcomes to determine if it will be continued.

Advocates who supported the extension expect it to save lives in Alabama, where Medicaid pays for about about 30,000 births per year, about one-half of births in the state.

Mothers die from complications from pregnancy and childbirth in Alabama at more than twice the national rate, according to the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 2018, Alabama’s rate was 36.4 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. The national rate was 17.4. Arkansas and Kentucky were the only states with higher rates than Alabama.

Alabama follows neighboring states Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee in extending postpartum coverage. Congress streamlined the extension process as part of the American Rescue Plan Act, the COVID-19 relief package approved last year.

Robyn Hyden, executive director of Alabama Arise, said the extension will save lives.

The state of Alabama ranks #3 in maternal mortality. Medicaid expansion in the state means that more moms will be able to access the critical resources, support and care at the most vulnerable tim

e in their pregnancy journey. Additionally, the full year timeline will help ensure that both mom and baby can continue to pursue a healthy and safe lifestyle post-delivery.

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