New York State Department of Health Extends Medicaid and Child Health Plus (CHPlus) Postpartum Coverage from 60 Days to One Year

Federal Option to Lengthen Postpartum Benefit Enables State to Address Maternal Mortality and Morbidity, and Balance Health Disparities in Underserved Communities

ALBANY, N.Y. (June 14, 2023) – The New York State Department of Health today announced that New York Medicaid and Child Health Plus (CHPlus) will extend the duration of postpartum health coverage from 60 days to a full year following pregnancy. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approved the benefit extension, effective today, allowing New York State to provide pregnant enrollees with 12 months of postpartum coverage, regardless of immigration status or how the pregnancy ended.

"The entire first year after childbirth can be a very vulnerable time," State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said. "The extension of postpartum coverage displays the Department's commitment to ensure that all individuals who give birth have the vital resources and services they need to have safe pregnancies, no matter their race, where they live, or immigration status. Black people who give birth die due to complications at a four times higher rate than White people who give birth in New York State, and this is unacceptable."

New York's decision to adopt the federal option to increase postpartum coverage supports the Biden Administration's Maternity Care Action plan to improve maternal health, particularly in disadvantaged communities.

"Equitable access to maternal health services is a crucial issue and a top priority for the Medicaid program. We applaud the federal government's commitment to prioritizing the wellbeing of pregnant individuals and their growing families through the Medicaid program," State Medicaid Director Amir Bassiri said. "Expanding postpartum coverage will be a catalyst in the state's goal of effectively narrowing racial and socioeconomic disparities, delivering holistic person-centered care, and improving population health outcomes in Medicaid."

With more than 7.7 million Medicaid enrollees and over 1.3 million enrollees in Child Heath Plus and the Essential Plan, New York State offers some of the largest and most comprehensive public health insurance programs in the country. With this extension of postpartum coverage, up to an additional 26,000 New Yorkers will have access to health insurance through Medicaid and CHPlus for a full year after pregnancy.

Nationally, public health insurance programs cover 41% of all births and more than half of all children in the country. With the addition of New York, an estimated 509,000 Americans across 35 states and the District of Columbia now have access to extended postpartum coverage, marking a significant milestone in the advancement of health care for individuals post pregnancy.

An official announcement from CMS on New York's extension of postpartum coverage can be found here.