For Black Maternal Health Week: Medicaid postpartum coverage expanded for Illinois mothers up to a year after giving birth

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has approved expanded Medicaid postpartum coverage for mothers in Illinois, making it the first state to provide continuous coverage for up to a year after a birth.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approved eligibility for new mothers to be covered beyond 60 days after giving birth, which went into effect today.

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra also announced that $12 million in funding will be made available over four years through the Rural Maternity and Obstetrics Management Strategies (RMOMS) program.

“This is a first step, and these are two very important announcements that will significantly impact the health of mothers and expectant mothers in Illinois and in our rural communities as well,” Becerra said.

Illinois could lead the way: This comes as the Biden administration has vowed to expand health care access and reduce maternal mortality rates, which are higher among Black mothers.