News

Postpartum health coverage saves lives

When someone enrolled in AHCCCS gives birth, their coverage may expire just sixty days after their pregnancy ends.* Sixty days is not much time to recover from childbirth. And it means many people are forced to forego necessary postpartum health care due to the expense. For people with physical or mental health complications after pregnancy, having reliable health coverage can mean the difference between life and death. In fact, a report requested by the Arizona state legislature found that having health insurance reduces the likelihood of death during or in the year after pregnancy.

Changes in federal Medicaid policy mean it’s now easier than ever for states to expand postpartum coverage to a full year after pregnancy.** CAA and our partners are working now to ensure our state policymakers act on this opportunity.

CAA has launched a “Post-partum Post Card” campaign to help raise awareness of the need for postpartum AHCCCS coverage. We want to make it quick and easy for you to take action.

We’re collecting messages to share with our lawmakers. Our goal is to collect as many messages as possible. We’ll print the message on a postcard, then deliver a joyful advocacy bundle when the 2022 legislative session begins.

If you’d like to participate, here are three easy steps:

  1. Peruse our brief fact sheet to learn more about this issue
  2. Pick a postcard – images are available at this link.
  3. Fill out your home address and home zip code on the form linked above (we will never sell or share your information, we just want to make sure your postcard makes it to your representatives.)
  4. Write a short note to your state lawmakers. Tip: share why postpartum coverage is important to you and/or what it would mean to your community.
  5. Spread the word far and wide: Medicaid coverage saves lives.

Visit the postpartum postcard message collection form to choose a message and add your comment. Please submit comments no later than December 10th, 2021.

Thank you for your advocacy!

*Racial and ethnic disparities in pregnancy-related morbidity and mortality persist, and are driven by systemic inequities in access to care and culturally-responsive treatment. CAA wishes to note that for individuals who do not qualify for full Medicaid coverage due to their immigration or citizenship status, only delivery is covered. For these individuals, access to affordable, comprehensive pregnancy care begins and ends with delivery. CAA is committed to finding policy solutions that will promote access to prenatal and postpartum care for all Arizonans, regardless of immigration status.

**The Build Back Better package passed by the U.S. House of Representatives would mandate a year of postpartum Medicaid care. If enacted by the Senate with this provision, Arizona’s legislature will need to grant AHCCCS statutory authority to enact this change.

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