ACA closed health coverage gaps for pregnant women. There’s still a long way to go
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been the law of the land in the U.S. for 11 years and helped more than 20 million Americans gain health coverage. Still, some are losing it, even at times when they arguably need it most. There are demonstrated health benefits for the mother and baby to having insurance before and during pregnancy and after giving birth. But a patchwork of programs leaves care gaps for this population. Typically, Medicaid only covers eligible pregnant women until they’re 60 days postpartum. The ACA allowed states that expanded Medicaid to offer longer coverage protections for eligible pregnant women.
How big of a step was that, and what remains to be done? That’s the topic of today’s A Health Podyssey. Dr. Emily Johnston from the Health Policy Center at the Urban Institute joins Health Affairs Editor-in-Chief Alan Weil to discuss a new paper she published in the April 2021 edition of Health Affairs. Weil and Johnston talk about her research, which shows Medicaid expansion helped close many — but not all — gaps in coverage for pregnant women, as well as what the American Rescue Plan might mean for postpartum uninsurance.
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