HARTFORD, CT – Governor Ned Lamont on Wednesday announced the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has approved the State of Connecticut’s request to extend Medicaid (known in Connecticut as HUSKY) and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage for twelve months after pregnancy. According to CMS, this extension will affect approximately 4,000 Connecticut residents who would have otherwise lost coverage after 60 days.
While the majority of roughly 14,000 HUSKY clients who give birth each year remain eligible for coverage after childbirth, some clients have lost eligibility after two months. The extension of this coverage will allow all individuals twelve months of HUSKY coverage to address postpartum health needs, which may include recovery from childbirth, pregnancy complications, mental health needs, and chronic health issues. Previously, Medicaid/HUSKY only covered two months of postpartum coverage. With high rates of maternal morbidity and mortality, the approval of Connecticut’s requested extension of coverage was hailed by state leaders as a big step in addressing maternal health.
“We are thrilled that Connecticut has been approved for the twelve-month postpartum extension,” Governor Lamont said. “With this extension, approximately 4,000 Connecticut residents will be able to receive the care they need after childbirth. This will allow health care providers to provide care for their patients for a longer time frame, while addressing maternal mortality and morbidity.”
“I know from actual real-world experience what this will mean to the individuals who benefit from this expanded coverage,” Connecticut Department of Social Services Commissioner Deidre Gifford, a former practicing OB-GYN, said. “I can remember agonizing conversations with patients who had diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, and other chronic conditions. As their six weeks of post-partum coverage was expiring, we would brainstorm and strategize and plot how they could continue to get needed care. It was always inadequate and agonizing and infuriating for me and for them. Until we are at a place where everyone has health care coverage in our country, this is another step in the right direction.”
The Connecticut Department of Social Services will administer this coverage extension through the HUSKY Health program. Parents enrolled in HUSKY Health will automatically receive this extended coverage. Parents not currently enrolled in HUSKY Health can apply through Access Health CT at www.accesshealthct.com or 1-855-805-4325.