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Maine extends postpartum care to one year

The MaineCare health extension will take effect Aug. 1, and is expected to provide 2,000 more Maine women with year-long coverage.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Janet Mills announced Thursday a significant extension of postpartum Medicaid coverage from 60 days to 12 months after birth, according to a news release.  

This extension will take effect Aug. 1.

The announcement states the extension was granted with the intent to improve child and maternal care and includes recovery from childbirth, follow-up on pregnancy complications, management of chronic health conditions, access to family planning, and help for mental health conditions.

“The need for pregnancy-related health care doesn’t end 60 days after a woman gives birth,” Mills said in the release. “This move will ensure that women have access to postpartum care for a full year, which will improve their health and that of the children, setting them both up to succeed in the future. This is another example of how my administration is committed to supporting women’s reproductive health in Maine.”

It is expected that 2,000 more women per year will have access to yearlong postpartum health care coverage as a result of the extension, the release noted.

Maine will join 13 other states that have implemented the 12-month postpartum Medicaid coverage, with many others seeking approval for coverage extension.

Sections 9812 and 9822 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 granted states the choice to opt-in to extended care.

On the state level, Maine's extension is reflected in LD 1781, legislation sponsored by Sen. Anne Carney, D-Cape Elizabeth, which authorized the Mills Administration to seek that extension of coverage from the federal government, according to the release.

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