We’ve been talking about the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 for a few weeks now, and it’s because we can’t help it! There are so many great benefits inside the $1.9 trillion plan; besides the health insurance subsidies and lower monthly premiums, this act has a provision that makes a major change to Medicaid coverage for low-income pregnant and postpartum women.
There has been a long-standing gap for those who have had their maternity care covered by Medicaid, especially in those states that have not expanded Medicaid as permitted by the ACA. This new Act adds new incentives for states to take up the ACA Medicaid expansion and also gives all states the new option to extend the postpartum coverage period under Medicaid from 60 days following pregnancy to a full year.
Under the new law the postpartum coverage duration can also be lengthened under the CHIP program. Currently, only six states cover some low-income pregnant women through their CHIP programs. If a state utilizes the new option to extend the postpartum period, this will apply to their CHIP coverage in addition to Medicaid.
What else? States that elect the new option must provide full Medicaid benefits during pregnancy and the extended postpartum period. The new option can start to take effect as of April 1st, 2022 and will be available to states for five years.
Which states will cover this option? Well, several states have shown interest in extending the postpartum coverage period beyond 60 days — including expansion states like Illinois and New Jersey as well as non-expansion states like Georgia. What about women’s coverage in non-expansion states? Non-expansion states that utilize the option could see a decrease in the share of low-income mothers who are uninsured.
Questions about the American Rescue Plan Act and how it can apply to your health insurance plan? Give us a call! We’re proud to be the number one insurance agency in Coral Springs and Parkland, Florida!