Issue Briefs | Apr 20, 2021

The American Rescue Plan Act’s State Option to Extend Postpartum Coverage

Kinda Serafi, Kaylee O’Connor and Patricia Boozang, Manatt Health

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) establishes a new state option to extend Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage for pregnant women for one year following the baby’s birth. Under current law, Medicaid and CHIP pregnant women’s coverage extends only through 60 days postpartum. ARP’s new state option to extend continuous coverage for one-year postpartum enables states to take a major step towards improving health outcomes for postpartum women and their babies by mitigating coverage loss, providing comprehensive coverage in the postpartum period to address maternal mortality and morbidity, and advancing health equity. This issue brief reviews the policy and operational considerations for states of the new option to extend postpartum coverage.