Mom-nibus: Extending Medicaid Coverage for Mothers
Maternal deaths are preventable, yet the United States has the highest maternal death rate in the developed world, with a nationwide maternal mental health crisis occurring. As a step forward, New Hampshire needs more robust services for mothers through Medicaid coverage.
Women who don’t meet income limits for Medicaid can qualify through pregnancy to receive critical prenatal care, as well as access to services at family resource centers and children's behavioral health supports. Under the current system, these services end after 60 days postpartum. To address this issue, it is important to extend this period for access to treatment.
A 2023 Senate Bill (SB 175) proposes to extend Medicaid coverage for pregnant women to one year postpartum. It also would cover supports such as doulas, lactation services, donor breast milk, services through family resource centers and children's behavioral health supports for an estimated 3,800 women a year who receive maternity services under Medicaid annually.
In addition to the Medicaid provisions, SB 175 also includes workplace protections for nursing mothers, creates advisory boards and certification processes for doulas and lactation service providers, and establishes a commission to study universal home visits for newborns and young children.
New Futures supports SB 175 because it makes a difference in helping women and families who currently don’t have access to affordable services by extending the coverage period. Having extra support services during a stressful period results in healthier outcomes for both the mother and the child, and overall health care savings