Medicaid plays a key role in child and maternal health, financing 40% of all births in the United States. Medicaid coverage for pregnant women includes prenatal care through the pregnancy, labor, and delivery, and for 60 days postpartum as well as other pregnancy-related care.
States have the option to extend Medicaid coverage to pregnant women up to or over 185% and most states have done so. In addition, some states have medically needy programs, which allow pregnant women with incomes above the medically needy income threshold to spend down to eligibility if their health care expenses are sufficiently high.
Once eligibility is established, pregnant women remain eligible for Medicaid through the end of the calendar month in which the 60th day after the end of the pregnancy falls, regardless of any change in family income.
Infants born to pregnant women who are receiving Medicaid for the date of delivery are automatically eligible for Medicaid (known as “deemed newborns”). Medicaid eligibility continues until the child’s first birthday and citizenship documentation is not required.
Pregnant women receive care related to the pregnancy, labor, and delivery and any complications that may occur during pregnancy, as well as perinatal care for 60 days post partum. States have the option to provide pregnant women with full Medicaid coverage, or they may elect to limit coverage to certain pregnancy-related services.