In an effort to improve maternal and child health outcomes and increase access to life-saving health care services, AHCCCS has extended postpartum coverage for a full 12 months, effective April 1, 2023.
“Medicaid covers more than half the births in Arizona. Extending postpartum coverage will help us address healthcare disparities for our postpartum population, which includes a disproportionate number of our American Indian or Alaskan Natives at increased risk of severe morbidity,” Governor Katie Hobbs said.
“The 12-month expansion of postpartum coverage is especially timely given the return to regular renewals which began this month,” said Dr. Sara Salek, the AHCCCS chief medical officer. “This policy change means that members who previously would have only had 60 days of postpartum coverage are now eligible for health care coverage for a full year. This is a critical period for Arizonans recovering from childbirth. It also extends our chances to address complications that contribute to postpartum morbidity and mortality, ensure ongoing mental health, and manage infant care.”
Under previous Medicaid requirements, AHCCCS coverage ended after 60 days postpartum when a member was eligible solely based on a pregnancy. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 gave states the option to increase postpartum coverage to 12 months. This state option was further codified permanently in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022, and approved in the Arizona state budget in June 2022.