By Simone Garza || The Community Voice
Mothers with Kansas Medicaid (KanCare) are now eligible for up to 12 months postpartum medical care.
The postpartum health care extension from two months to a year was approved retroactive to April 1, 2022, and extends coverage for postpartum beneficiaries of Kansas Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). There are more than 500,000 Kansans, or 1 in 5 residents, who are enrolled in Kansas Medicaid or CHIP.
“Our efforts to expand health care coverage have paid off, benefiting moms and giving babies a stronger start to life,” said Governor Kelly. She said this bipartisan work will reduce maternal mortality, improve child development, and save Kansans money on vital health care.
Medicaid benefits for new mothers include:
- Routine check-ups to assist with recovering from childbirth
- Behavioral healthcare
- Other service referrals
- Breastfeeding support
- Family planning
KanCare mothers can also access dental services and screenings for postpartum depression. Before the postpartum extension, most Medicaid mothers would lose eligibility for Medicaid benefits around two months postpartum, leaving many new mothers without access to medical and behavioral health care as they recovered from childbirth.
A total of 42% of U.S. births are covered by Medicaid. That number is 31% in Kansas.
State Representative Brenda Landwehr said as a mother herself, she knows how important the first year is and an enhanced period of care for Kansas mothers is vital for their mental health, their babies health, and their families.
“I am grateful to our state for taking this monumental step to improve maternal health across the state,” Landwehr said.
David Jordan, President and CEO of the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund, said this policy change, approved on Tuesday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, is welcome news and is a win for all Kansans.
“It will positively impact thousands of Kansas mothers each year—reducing maternal mortality, improving health outcomes, and reducing disparities,” he said.