Many States Look to Strengthen Medicaid Coverage for Maternal Health in FY2022, According to New KFF Report
Medicaid funds more than four in ten births in the United States and more than half in several states. A new KFF report of results from a survey of 41 states and DC finds that on the whole, states offer broad coverage for basic pregnancy-related services. Most states also reported that they are working on ways to strengthen Medicaid coverage of maternity services and are trying to respond to concerns about coverage continuity and scope of benefits.
The new report outlines four main themes regarding state pregnancy- related benefits: Prenatal and delivery; counseling and support services; breastfeeding and postpartum visits; and future directions. Some key highlights from the report include
- Most states are considering efforts to enhance maternity benefits, with several reporting initiatives to address substance use disorders for pregnant and postpartum beneficiaries, improve maternal mental health care, strengthen home visiting, and address racial and ethnic disparities in maternal health outcomes.
- More than half of responding states cover home births under Medicaid, with interest growing since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Most states cover dental services for pregnant Medicaid enrollees, with some limitations like emergency dental services.
- Doulas, who provide support to pregnant people during pregnancy and labor, are an increasingly popular service that many states are considering adding. Currently only a few states cover doula services.
- Fertility care continues to be a major gap in Medicaid, with a majority of states not covering fertility assistance services. Only 11 of the survey states cover diagnostic testing related to fertility and only four states cover fertility medication.
Many states reported efforts to extend the postpartum coverage period, which was the most reported new initiative states would be implementing in 2022. For the most up to date information on Medicaid postpartum coverage extensions, visit the online KFF tracker.