Medicaid postpartum health care coverage will be extended from 60 days to 12 months for eligible people in North Carolina beginning April 1, 2022. Medicaid will also provide 12 months of continuous postpartum coverage to eligible people who are currently pregnant or gave birth between Feb. 1, 2022, and March 31, 2022.
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 gave states the option to increase postpartum coverage to 12 months. The extension was included in the state budget which was approved in November 2021. The option for the 12-month extension of postpartum coverage is available to states for five years, through March 2027.
“This extended coverage is an important component to help improve the health of families in our state,” said Deputy Secretary for NC Medicaid Dave Richard. “I hope we can build on this important step by expanding Medicaid in North Carolina to further support maternal health and reduce infant mortality by improving health before the pregnancy.”
Beneficiaries will now be eligible to receive 12 months of ongoing postpartum health care coverage beginning on the date their pregnancy ends through the last day of the month 12-months after the last date of the pregnancy. Beneficiaries will remain eligible for ongoing postpartum health care coverage even if certain changes occur that may affect eligibility — such as a change in income or household/family unit.
Most pregnant and postpartum beneficiaries will have access to full Medicaid benefits. This may include services like doctor’s visits, prescription drugs, dental, vision and hearing, as well as behavioral health care and substance use services. For a full list of benefits, visit the NC Medicaid website.
North Carolina currently ranks 30th in the country in maternal mortality and 39th in infant mortality. In addition, 12% of women in the state experience postpartum depression.
Beneficiaries will automatically receive extended postpartum coverage if enrolled in the Medicaid for Pregnant Women program. All eligible beneficiaries will receive a letter notifying them of the change.
To receive the extended postpartum benefit, all eligible Medicaid beneficiaries must report when they are pregnant and the last date they were pregnant to their local Department of Social Services. Extended coverage applies to all categories of beneficiaries in all NC Medicaid programs, including those currently enrolled in MPW.
For more information, please visit NC Medicaid’s Postpartum Coverage Extension webpage.