On Jan. 1, 2023, North Dakota Health and Human Services’ Medicaid program extended health care coverage for eligible pregnant and new mothers from 60 days to 12 months after pregnancy to help improve maternal and child health outcomes and overall well-being.
The 12-months of continuous coverage will provide qualifying individuals access to checkups after birth, behavioral health services and preventive care like mammograms and cervical screenings. The extended coverage also covers dental care, vision and hearing screenings, chiropractic care and other vital health care services.
“Extending Medicaid coverage after pregnancy helps ensure that women have the care they need during their child’s first year of life,” said Interim Medical Services Division Director Krista Fremming. “This aligns with our vision to make North Dakota the healthiest state in the nation by investing in people’s economic, behavioral and physical health, which are the foundations of well-being.”
To qualify for this extended coverage, current ND Medicaid members and new applicants must inform a human service zone office that they are pregnant before they give birth. Contact information for human service zone offices is online at hhs.nd.gov/human-service/zones.
Agency officials estimate that about 250 individuals per year could benefit from the extended coverage.
“The months following pregnancy are a critical time to support new moms,” said Alicia Belay, assistant director of Community Engagement for HHS. “There are significant benefits to having access to more care after birth including improved behavioral health for women and their babies, increased preventive care and healthier outcomes in future pregnancies.”
HHS has developed several materials that partner organizations that work with Medicaid members can use to raise awareness about the extended coverage. The agency also plans to send letters to members who may benefit from the extended coverage option.
Interested individuals can learn more about this initiative at hhs.nd.gov/Medicaid/newmoms.