For Immediate Release:
January 3, 2023
Health Care For All Commends the Legislature’s Passage of a Bill To Codify MassHealth Postpartum Coverage
BOSTON – Health Care For All applauds the House leadership for their dedication in passing An Act relative to expanding equitable access to maternal postpartum care. The bill codifies a policy recently implemented by MassHealth to extend coverage from 60 days to 12 months postpartum, making this policy a permanent component of the MassHealth program.
Maternal mortality and pregnancy-related complications continue to increase across the United States. In Massachusetts, pregnancy-associated deaths increased 33 percent between 2012 and 2014. Racial maternal health inequities are widespread. For example, Black birthing individuals have pregnancy-related mortality rates that are over three times higher than the rate for white-birthing individuals. For every person who dies from pregnancy-related causes, another 70 suffer from severe illness or disability, including behavioral health conditions.
“As the maternal mortality crisis continues to grow, this legislation ensures that low-income birthing individuals in Massachusetts receive coverage for 12 months beyond the end of pregnancy,” says Yaminah Romulus, Policy Manager at Health Care For All. “Health Care For All is grateful to the legislature and MassHealth for prioritizing maternal health equity.”
Timely postpartum visits provide an opportunity to address chronic health conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension; mental health status, including postpartum depression; and substance use disorders. This legislation will codify continuous coverage during a critical time, impacting the long-term health and well-being of pregnant and birthing individuals, their families, and their communities.