By Bob Katzen
Gov. Baker signed into law a bill that would ensure that pregnant and postpartum mothers get necessary and potentially life-saving health care by extending MassHealth insurance coverage to 12 months after pregnancy. MassHealth is the state’s Medicaid program that provides health care for low-income and disabled persons.
Supporters said that according to a recent report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of women identified as having died of maternal causes in the United States climbed from 658 in 2018 to 861 in 2020, with the maternal death rate for Black women reaching an alarming 55.3 deaths per 100,000 live births.
“I am proud that Massachusetts has taken another step to combat inequities in maternal health,” said Sen. Joan Lovely (D-Salem), the lead Senate sponsor of the measure. “By extending postpartum healthcare coverage to a full year, parents will be able to access vital physical and behavioral health resources that will decrease mortality and severe morbidity and improve the overall health of parent and child.”