Postpartum Medicaid extension passed by state lawmakers

Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 10:31 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Many current and expecting moms were relived after state lawmakers extended postpartum Medicaid coverage from two months to a full year.

“I was like, Oh, my gosh!”

“It’s absolutely amazing!”

Before the pandemic, moms saw just two months of Medicaid covered postpartum care before they were left to foot the bill themselves.

“Just because someone has a great first six weeks doesn’t mean that that’s gonna be the case for the rest of the year,” Laura Moore said.

“Studies show that postpartum preeclampsia normally arises anywhere from two to three months. This is something you can’t treat at home; which is why Mississippi is already leading the nation in maternal mortality rate,” Kashuna Watts, a doula and childbirth educator said.

Beside physical complications, some mothers like Brittany Lampkin suffer from postpartum depression, especially losing a child.

“It would have cushion that that amount of time that I had to grieve. People don’t really think about the mental aspect of it. And so the six weeks that I had was really for the physical rehabilitation,” Lampkin said.

Fast forward to the Pandemic, that coverage temporarily extended to 12 months - a timeline doctors, advocates, and mother pushed state lawmakers to make permanent.

“There’s a lot of negative stigma around just Medicaid in general. And I hate that. But and some people are like, ‘Oh, well, I mean, you’ve had all this care, you’ve had this care prenatal, you’ve had this care with your delivery, you know, you can handle it.’ No, that’s not how it works,” Moore said.

Tuesday, the two-year-long fight came to an end after the House gave the green light on the bill and sent it to Governor Tate Reeves to sign into law.

“This will improve the outcome of pregnancies, also, because women know that have a plan and can receive adequate care and think, ‘I could get the things that I need done that I wasn’t able to get done before,’” Watts said.

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