State bill proposes extending health coverage for pregnant, postpartum women
A bill currently up for debate in Alabama could expand Medicaid coverage for women who are pregnant and postpartum.
HB360 will extend Medicaid’s postpartum coverage to one year after the birth of a child. Currently, Medicaid’s postpartum coverage cuts off at 60 days after birth. You can find Alabama’s eligibility requirements for Medicaid coverage for pregnant women right here.
Expanding Medicaid coverage for women who have been through a pregnancy means mother and baby will be healthier mentally and physically, said Alabama Arise Cover Alabama Campaign Director Jane Adams.
“They can go get checkups,” she said. “If they have issues like postpartum depression, they get treated. They can also get treated for chronic health conditions like cardiovascular health disorders and cardiomyopathy.”
Adams is a long-time advocate for expanding health insurance benefits for low-income Alabamians, especially pregnant mothers.
“Women not having access to care has led to more maternal deaths and bad health outcomes for new mothers across the state,” Adams said.
According to the National Vital Statistics System, 861 women died as a result of their pregnancy of maternal causes in the U.S. in 2020, compared to 754 in 2019. That’s 23.8 deaths per 100,000 live births.
“Alabama is ranked third-worst in the country for maternal mortality,” Adams said. “The racial disparities and maternal death are significant in our state and a lot of that has to do with our state leaders consistently failing to address health access in this state.”
The Alabama General Fund Committee is debating the bill today. If it passes through the committee, it goes to the Alabama House next week.