Last week, MCC had the pleasure of hosting the Department of Human Services (DHS) Acting Secretary, Meg Snead, to speak about Medicaid postpartum coverage in Pennsylvania. The conversation was hosted by Maternity Care Coalition (MCC) Chief Executive Officer Marianne Fray and included representatives from various MCC programs sharing their first-hand knowledge on how extended postpartum Medicaid coverage would benefit MCC clients and birthing parents and families across Pennsylvania.
The roundtable shared obstacles and experiences that families suffering from loss of Medicaid coverage face. Currently, Medicaid benefits expire only sixty days after birth. Which leaves parents without insurance coverage during an elevated medical risk period. Dionna Stanton, from our MOMobile Family Therapy program, noted that extending postpartum coverage would benefit parents who need access to mental health care after birth. “I’ve seen people wait three to four months for their first psychiatric visit, and that’s three to five hundred dollars in out-of-pocket expenses for the first visit. And then we have six to eight weeks of waiting for medications to get to therapeutic serum levels. So, they haven’t even had a chance to take the medication long enough [before Medicaid coverage is lost] for it to be effective.”
Additional insurance coverage transforms the quality of life for all family members as they adjust to life with a new baby in the home. Marianne Fray noted “When access to high-quality and culturally responsive services are available to all families, health outcomes improve. In extending postpartum Medicaid, moms and birthing people will have access to critical care and resources – a necessary step forward for perinatal health equity in Pennsylvania.”
To learn more about what is being done to ensure birthing parents have adequate access to health resources visit: https://thrivingpa.org/