Expanded Medicaid for new mothers begins in North Carolina

New mothers can now get one year of full Medicaid coverage after giving birth, as a new state law expanding services took effect Friday. The 12-month coverage option was offered to states in a COVID-19 relief and recovery package approved by Congress last year. The North Carolina state government budget approved by the General Assembly in November and signed by Governor Roy Cooper accepted this offer. Until now, women whose households received up to nearly double the poverty line could get 60 days of postpartum coverage. women and those with terminated pregnancies will also receive full Medicaid benefits, not just maternity-focused benefits previously provided, the state Department of Health and Human Services said. Expanded services are now also available to anyone who is currently pregnant or who gave birth between Feb. 1 and March 31, DHHS said in a press release, and otherwise qualifies based on income. This extended coverage is currently authorized for five years. The state’s share of the costs for enrollment coverage, which is expected to be about $50 million a year, will be paid for through increased receipts from hospital assessments, according to budget documents. The federal government pays the rest.

New mothers can now get one year of full Medicaid coverage after giving birth, as a new state law expanding services took effect Friday.

The 12-month coverage option was offered to states in a COVID-19 relief and recovery plan approved by Congress last year. The North Carolina state government budget approved by the General Assembly in November and signed by Governor Roy Cooper accepted this offer.

Until now, women whose households received up to nearly double the poverty line could get 60 days of postpartum coverage.

Most pregnant women and those whose pregnancies have ended will also receive full Medicaid benefits, not just maternity-focused benefits previously provided, the state Department of Health and Human Services said.

Expanded services are also now available to anyone who is currently pregnant or who gave birth between Feb. 1 and March 31, DHHS said in a press release, and is otherwise eligible based on income.

This extension of cover is currently authorized for five years.

The state’s share of costs for enrollment coverage, expected to be about $50 million a year, will be paid for through increased hospital assessment receipts, according to budget documents. The federal government pays the rest.

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