Texas Governor Greg Abbot has signed House Bill 12 into law, providing low-income mothers in the state with improved healthcare coverage.
Under the new legislation, new mothers will be eligible for Medicaid coverage for a full year instead of the previous two-month period
This move is being hailed as a significant victory for Texas mothers and their infants, marking the culmination of a long-standing effort to extend postpartum Medicaid coverage and reduce maternal mortality rates.
The signing of HB 12 represents a major milestone for Texas, where half of all mothers rely on Medicaid for healthcare coverage. The extension of coverage from 60 days to twelve months is expected to have a life-saving impact. Kasey Corpus, Southern Policy and Advocacy Manager at Young Invincibles emphasized the importance of this development, stating that Texans will finally receive the essential care they need.
The push for this change was led by organizations such as Young Invincibles and Texans Care for Children, who highlighted the fact that 90% of pregnancy-related deaths are preventable
By extending Medicaid coverage by 10 months, doctors will have more time to identify and address potential complications. This extension ensures that mothers can continue attending doctor’s visits, receive necessary medical treatment, take prescribed medications, and focus on their health during the critical first year of their baby’s life.
Texas now joins 42 other states in opting for Medicaid’s 12-month extension period. The support for this measure has grown due to the recognition that one-third of maternal deaths occur between 43 days and one year after childbirth. However, advocates emphasize that while this is a positive step forward, there is still much work to be done to address the various factors contributing to poor outcomes for mothers and infants in the state.
Texas is currently seeking expedited approval from the federal government, but it is not expected that the extended Medicaid coverage will be available to new mothers until the end of the year.