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House advances Axne-backed legislation to help new mothers

The Helping MOMS Act will help expand Medicaid coverage to include the full length of postpartum period

WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation cosponsored by Rep. Cindy Axne to expand Medicaid to help new mothers.

The Helping Medicaid Offer Maternity Services Act of 2019 — Helping MOMS Act— will allow states to provide one year of postpartum coverage for women under Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). 

The current law requires only 60 days of coverage for mothers. 

Mothers across this country will tell you that 2 months is just the beginning of healing after childbirth,” Axne said.

“This bill will help ensure that Iowa’s moms have all the support they need for health care conditions like depression, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiomyopathy and countless other illnesses a new mother can experience.”

Medical researchers have shown that a woman’s postpartum period lasts up to 12 months after the delivery of a baby. 

While newborn babies are eligible for Medicaid or CHIP for their first year of life to cover any complications that arise during this critical time, their mothers lose their health insurance coverage just 60 days after delivering their child. 

One study showed that 70% of new moms will have at least one health complication within a year of giving birth.

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