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Senate committee unanimously backs yearlong postpartum Medicaid coverage

June 28, 2023 10:12 AM | Anonymous

WHN; June 28, 2023

A Senate committee voted unanimously Tuesday to advance a plan that would extend Medicaid postpartum coverage to a year. 

Currently, the program offers 60-day postpartum coverage to those making a little more than three times the federal poverty level. Federal officials are considering a request by the state to bump that to 90 days. 

All five members of the Committee on Insurance and Small Business voted by paper ballot to recommend passage of the yearlong extension. The bill has the support of 72 legislators and a number of healthcare organizations. It received a public hearing in March.  

“Postpartum care, including recovery from childbirth, follow-up on pregnancy complications, management of chronic health conditions and addressing mental health concerns, is essential to increasing positive health outcomes for mothers and babies, and often requires follow-up beyond the current 60-day period,” bill author Sen. Joan Ballweg, R-Markesan, wrote in testimony submitted at the public hearing. “This is especially true for pregnant women of color, who experience large disparities in maternal mortality before and after childbirth.” 

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, said at a Wisconsin Health News event in mid-June that he opposes the extension, in part because he wants to encourage people to leave Medicaid as soon as possible and enter the private insurance market.

The Legislature’s budget-writing committee voted along party lines around two weeks ago to block an attempt by Democratic members to add the proposal to the 2023-25 budget

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