Medicaid expands to include 12-month postpartum health coverage

Mother holding her baby.
Published: Jul. 5, 2022 at 3:29 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJVirginia Medicaid Release) - Virginia Medicaid has expanded to include 12 months of postpartum health coverage for enrollees, effective July 22. That’s an expansion from only 60 days being covered. The change applies to people enrolled in FAMIS MOMS and Medicaid for Pregnant Women, according to Virginia Medicaid.

People enrolled in these programs are now eligible for coverage during pregnancy and a year postpartum, even if their incomes change in that period, according to the agency. The available benefits remain the same during the extended postpartum timeline and include breastfeeding support, behavioral health services, and dental.

People who lost coverage at the 60-day mark and are still within a year of giving birth can reapply to regain coverage for the rest of the 12-month period, according to Virginia Medicaid. Children born to Medicaid/FAMIS enrollees are already entitled to 12 months of continuous coverage through a preexisting rule.

“This is a change that will really help postpartum persons maintain access to necessary health care,” said Sara Cariano, Senior Health Policy Analyst for Enroll Virginia. “Most Medicaid enrollees are getting continuous coverage right now through the federal public health emergency, but that protection hasn’t applied to people in the FAMIS MOMS program. This new rule extends postpartum coverage for all enrollees and creates a more lasting system for people to get the care and support they need during this critical time.”

People seeking more information about eligibility criteria and benefits can find details at coverva.org.

As the new rule goes into effect, Virginia Medicaid says, some enrollees may get conflicting notices about whether their coverage is ending or will be extended. People who have concerns about their coverage or need help reapplying for Medicaid or other affordable insurance should contact an Enroll Virginia navigator for free, unbiased assistance, according to the agency.

Enroll Virginia, a community-based organization and project of the Virginia Poverty Law Center, provides assistance to Virginians seeking to enroll in health coverage through Medicaid/FAMIS and the Affordable Care Act. Navigators and assisters provide support through the entire application process, from determining eligibility to submitting enrollment applications.

Enroll Virginia’s staff can be contacted by calling 1-888-392-5132. Entering a ZIP code will route each caller to a navigator in the correct community. Consumers can also visit Enroll Virginia’s website, where they can find local assisters online and schedule appointments.

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