On Wednesday, February 17th, 2021, the Texas state legislature gave a preliminary approval to a bill requiring the state to extend Medicaid eligibility to mothers in the state for a full year after they give birth. The bill, if passed, would become the longest postpartum coverage offered in the country, offering a significant improvement in pregnancy and infant care and making it safer for mothers and babies alike.
The bill was first proposed by Texas State Rep. Celia Israel (D-Austin), who noted that health care access is essential during the postpartum period. “Our current six-week Medicaid bridge period is not enough to support both mother and baby, especially when a postpartum mother will usually see her doctor around six weeks prior to a twelve-week care period for her baby,” she said.
The Texas Medicaid and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) currently provides coverage for pregnant women up to two months after a baby is born. Under the proposed bill, such coverage would be extended to one year. States like New York already offer a similar postpartum coverage period, but this bill would make Texas the first state in the country to offer such a generous extension.
While the legislative body approved the bill, it won’t become law until Gov. Greg Abbott signs it into law. Supporters of the bill are optimistic that the governor will sign it this session, as it has gained bi-partisan support among the body and is seen as essential during this public health emergency.
If passed, the bill will have a significant positive impact on maternal and child health in the state and may serve as a model for other states seeking to invest in public health programs. It will go a long way in ensuring that mothers have access to the care they need, and that babies can be born into a safe and healthy environment. [ad_1]
Texas abortion bans concentrated consideration on the state’s now substantial maternal mortality charge. Proposed laws could allow usually uninsured females keep on Medicaid up to a 12 months right after childbirth.
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