Added stress of COVID-19 crisis for new mothers makes legislation especially important
Jefferson City – State Sen. Jill Schupp’s Postpartum Depression Care Act to help new mothers experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression has received final legislative approval and now awaits the governor’s signature. Under this legislation, Missouri women who screen positive for postpartum depression would receive postpartum depression care through Medicaid for up to one year.
“Missouri ranks sixth in the nation for its high rate of maternal mortality, with postpartum suicide as the second leading cause of death for new mothers. These deaths are preventable and the underlying issues are treatable,” Sen. Schupp said. “I am grateful to have bipartisan support for this legislation that will save lives and help keep new families healthy and safe. With the added stress and concerns for new mothers during the COVID-19 pandemic, this legislation is more important than ever.”
Included in the omnibus public health bill, House Bill 1682, which passed the Missouri House of Representatives with bipartisan support, the Postpartum Depression Care Act ensures that Medicaid benefits for women who need postpartum depression care would be extended from 60 days postpartum to up to one year.
This legislation also encourages certain health care providers to give information on postpartum depression to new parents, and offer voluntary screening for new mothers during their regularly scheduled well-woman and well-baby check-ups following pregnancy.