Washington, D.C. — Guaranteeing Medicaid beneficiaries 12 months of continuous coverage would be a big step toward a more affordable, accessible, and equitable health care system. In a new column, the Center for American Progress outlines why Congress should guarantee continuous coverage in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for pregnant women and children before the current continuous coverage requirement—linked to the COVID-19 public health emergency—ends.
Medicaid coverage is vital for thousands of pregnant and postpartum women to get the care they need, and it reduces the mortality rate for pregnant mothers and children, particularly for mothers and children of color. In the past year alone, Medicaid financed 1.5 million births.
“Low-income families should not have to decide between getting the care they need and their family’s economic security,” said Emily Gee, vice president and coordinator for Health Policy. “Guaranteeing continuous eligibility would chart a new standard for health coverage across the United States. We’ve seen the benefits of continuous coverage for pregnant women, children, and others throughout the course of the pandemic, and we should make that the norm.”
“Guaranteeing continuous coverage is a step forward for the United States to build a stronger, more affordable health care system, so that low-income people face fewer disruptions to the health care they need and deserve,” said Natasha Murphy, director of Health Policy. “For pregnant women and children especially, this lifeline to care should last beyond the public health emergency.”
“For thousands, continuous Medicaid coverage has put getting the proper care during pregnancy, while giving birth, and in the postpartum period within reach—without wreaking havoc on their financial security,” said Hailey Gibbs, senior policy analyst for Early Childhood Policy. “Medicaid and CHIP help mothers ensure their children can get the care they need, helping to reduce mortality and morbidity rates for mothers and children, saving lives, and putting infants on track for healthier development. Guaranteed continuous coverage is an investment in mothers, their children, and the health care system as a whole.”
Read the column: “Congress Should Guarantee Medicaid Continuous Coverage for Pregnant Women and Children” by Emily Gee, Natasha Murphy, and Hailey Gibbs
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