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State Takes Next Step On Extending Medicaid Coverage For Moms

Photo: Jonathan Borba
Photo: Jonathan Borba

Florida lawmakers want to extend Medicaid coverage for low-income new mothers—giving them a full year of coverage rather than the 60 days federal rules require.

Lawmakers approved the plan during the legislative session. Now, the Agency For Healthcare Administration is seeking a waiver from the federal government. It’s needed to move forward. Medicaid is a state and federally funded program that provides healthcare coverage for eligible low-income people.

Florida House Speaker Chris Sprowls made extending Medicaid for eligible new mothers a priority during the recent legislative session. It’s also something Ocoee Democratic Representative Kamia Brown has championed.

“By investing greater resources in the budget for this program we are really providing life-saving support for new mothers in need,” Brown says. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 60% of maternal deaths here in the U.S. are actually preventable and to be perfectly clear, extending this coverage will save lives.”

Healthcare experts say half of all pregnancy-related deaths happen after a mother is sent home from the hospital. Brown says giving new moms more time after birth to get regular healthcare will help reduce that.