Examining the 12-Month Postpartum Medicaid Coverage Option for Missouri

Photo of a mother holding young infant

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) allows states to file a state plan amendment to extend Medicaid coverage for postpartum women to 12 months after birth. Currently, in Missouri, coverage under the MO HealthNet for Pregnant Women (MPW) and Show-Me Healthy Babies
(SMHB) programs ends 60 days postpartum. If Missouri were to extend coverage, women in both programs would qualify for the extension. States that take up the option would be required to provide full Medicaid benefits during pregnancy and through the extended postpartum period. Missouri offers slightly enhanced benefits to pregnant women compared to standard adult coverage and would be required to provide the enhanced package for the duration of the coverage extension. Additionally, states are required to extend their existing continuous coverage requirements through the end of the 12-month period, which allows women to stay enrolled in the program even if they
experience changes in income. This new option becomes available on April 1, 2022, and states have five years to take up the option.