JEFFERSON CITY — New moms accessing insurance through Medicaid would receive health care for an entire year following childbirth if legislation introduced by State Sen. Jill Schupp, D-Creve Coeur, is enacted. Senator Schupp pre-filed legislation extending coverage for these moms from the current 60-day cut-off to a full year postpartum.
“We know the first year of life is one of the most formative times for a child. Helping new moms stay healthy will save lives and create healthier homes for children,” Sen. Schupp said. “Our investment in new moms’ health will pay dividends throughout the life of the child, and it will help Missouri tackle its maternal mortality crisis.”
Missouri ranks 42nd in the nation in terms of maternal mortality according to the Department of Health and Senior Services. Missouri’s Pregnancy-Associated Mortality Review Board recommends the 1-year extension of coverage as a way to reduce maternal mortality.
Currently, Missouri provides prenatal and 60 days of postpartum health care benefits for women who earn up to 196% of the federal poverty level through the MO HealthNet for Pregnant Women program. The Show-Me Healthy Babies program provides additional benefits for some Missourians earning up to 300% of the federal poverty level.
Senator Schupp’s proposal to extend the benefits for an entire year will be considered during the 2022 legislative session, which begins Jan. 5. The concept received bipartisan support during hearings conducted by the Senate Interim Committee on Medicaid Accountability and Taxpayer Protection.
Senate Bill 639 is a continuation of Sen. Schupp’s work to strengthen families. In 2020, her Postpartum Depression Care Act, which encouraged screening and offered an extension of mental health treatment, was signed into law. Additionally, Sen. Schupp was the sponsor of the 2019 legislation that codified the Pregnancy-Associated Mortality Review Board.
For more information on Sen. Schupp’s legislation, visit her official Missouri Senate website at www.senate.mo.gov/schupp.