Abstract

The United States is facing a maternal health crisis with rising rates of maternal mortality and morbidity and stark disparities in maternal outcomes by race and socioeconomic status. Among the efforts to address this issue, one policy proposal is gaining particular traction: extending the period of Medicaid eligibility for pregnant women beyond 60 days after childbirth. The authors examine the legislative and regulatory pathways most readily available for extending postpartum Medicaid, including their relative political, economic, and public health trade-offs. They also review the state and federal policy activity to date and discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the prospects for policy change.

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