2022 MAY 09 (NewsRx) — By a
However, significantly fewer people lost postpartum insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study in
The findings suggest that the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which was signed into law in
“The Coronavirus Response Act was a boon for families in that it allowed postpartum people on Medicaid to hold on to their health insurance,” Eliason said. “Many people will lose postpartum Medicaid coverage when the public health emergency ends unless states decide to extend Medicaid for a full year after childbirth — which they currently have the option to do under the American Rescue Plan Act.”
To examine postpartum insurance churn (insurance changes or coverage loss) during the pandemic, Eliason and
The researchers found that among the sample, the rate of insurance loss decreased from 3.1% in 2019 to 1.8% in 2021. In 2019 (before the pandemic), among respondents who reported having Medicaid in the last year, 88.2% had consistent Medicaid, 10.3% lost coverage and 1.6% switched to private coverage. In 2021 (during the pandemic), 95% had consistent Medicaid, 3.7% lost coverage and 0.8% switched to private coverage. The number of people who went from having Medicaid to being uninsured decreased by 64% in during the pandemic.
Because decreases in postpartum insurance loss were primarily associated with large increases in consistent Medicaid, the researchers said the findings suggest that the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, was a primary factor in substantial reducing postpartum Medicaid loss.
That’s important because the postpartum period can present unique health risks, Eliason said. Approximately 52% of maternal deaths in the
Women with health insurance, however, can be screened for mental and physical health issues and connected with resources and appropriate care. That’s why it’s so important that people be allowed to keep their health insurance coverage during this time and beyond, Eliason said, especially with Medicaid covering almost half of all births in the
“Taking insurance protection away 60 days postpartum means that a very sizable population will be without coverage during a vulnerable time in their lives, putting their health and that of their babies at higher risk,” she said.
This research was supported by the
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