Legislature Moves To Extend Medicaid’s Post-Pregnancy Coverage

Des Moines, Iowa — The Iowa House has sent the governor a plan to extend post-pregnancy Medicaid coverage for new mothers and infants from 60 days to a full year.

The coverage will be limited to families with incomes at or below 215 percent of the federal poverty line. Representative Devon Wood, a Republican from New Market, says that’s in line with surrounding states.

The current two months of Medicaid coverage of post-pregnancy care is available to babies and their mothers in households with incomes 375 percent above the poverty line. Representative Heather Matson of Ankeny is among the Democrats who unsuccessfully urged Republicans to keep that higher income threshold for the expanded coverage.

House Democratic Leader Jennifer Konfrst says with billions of dollars held in surplus accounts, the state can afford to extra seven MILLION dollars to help more low-income families with a new baby.

Wood, the Republican who led the debate of the bill, says she welcomes continued discussion about supporting more new moms, but the bill is an important step to expand post-pregnancy Medicaid coverage to a full year for uninsured mothers and babies.

A federal law approved three years ago gave states authority and funding to expand postpartum coverage in the Medicaid program. Iowa will soon join 47 states that have approved the expansion.

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