News Release

Two Women’s Health Policy Issues to Monitor in 2021

With President-elect Joe Biden and a new Congress taking office next month, newly updated KFF briefs examine two women’s health policy issues awaiting federal policymakers in 2021.

President-elect Biden campaigned on reversing the Trump Administration’s regulations for the Title X family planning program, which require complete financial and physical separation from abortion services, including referrals, for family planning providers funded by the program. The Current Status of the Title X Network and the Path Forward brief provides a narrative with maps and charts illustrating the Title X changes made by the Trump Administration and the resulting impact. Over 25% of participating providers left the program, with six states and at least half of providers in eight other states exiting the program. The brief also reviews the pending litigation on the regulations, and what steps the Biden Administration would have to take to reverse the Trump regulations.

Improving maternal health has captured the attention of federal and state policymakers in recent years. The updated brief, Expanding Postpartum Medicaid Coverage, discusses one focus area of improving maternal health. While all states must provide health coverage to pregnant women on Medicaid with incomes up to at least 138% (about $30,000 for a family of three) of the federal poverty level through 60 days after they give birth, gaps remain in coverage beyond that timeframe in many states. The brief explains existing state variation in Medicaid postpartum coverage and explains state and federal options to extend coverage beyond 60 days postpartum.

When Congress convenes next year and President-elect Biden and Vice-President-elect Harris are sworn-in, they are likely to take up previous legislative efforts to address maternal health care. This table summarizes pending bills on maternal health introduced in the 116th Congress.

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The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.