Virginia Medicaid expands, allowing 12 months postpartum coverage

RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — On Thursday, the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) announced that Medicaid members can maintain health coverage for 12 months after pregnancy.

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The expanded coverage, aimed at improving health outcomes for parents and babies, increases the period of coverage from as little as 60 days to a full year.

“Expanding postpartum coverage is another step toward Governor Ralph Northam’s goal of eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in maternal mortality by 2025,” the Health and Resources Secretary said. Humans of Virginia, Vanessa Walker Harris, MD. “This policy will improve the health and well-being of families of color and save lives across the Commonwealth.”

Officials say expanded coverage will be available for Medicaid members in 2022, pending state confirmation. The Medicaid agency covers one in three births in the Commonwealth and expects the expansion to extend coverage to more than 6,000 members a year.

Extending comprehensive postpartum coverage includes regular health checkups, behavioral health visits, and specialty care, enabling individuals to receive treatment for chronic conditions and avoid preventable complications or death.

“Families have been at the forefront of Medicaid from the beginning,” said DMAS Director Karen Kimsey. “We know that pregnancy complications don’t stop after 60 days. Twelve months of postpartum coverage reinforces Virginia Medicaid’s mission to improve the health and well-being of Virginians through access to high-quality health care coverage.

Individuals can apply for Medicaid online at Common aid or by calling 833-5CALLVA (TTY: 1-888-221-1590). Translation and interpretation services are available in all languages.

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