New report: Medicaid expansion supports maternal, child health

Center Focus

New report: Medicaid expansion supports maternal, child health

 

Healthier moms lead to healthier babies—a reality supported by Medicaid expansion. New research from Georgetown University Health Center for Children and Families shows states—like Iowa—that expand Medicaid improve the health of women of childbearing age by increasing access to preventative care and reducing health complications and maternal mortality rates.

Iowa saw a decline in the uninsured rate for women of childbearing age following the state’s decision to expand Medicaid. Between 2013 and 2017, the uninsured rate for Iowa women ages 18-44 fell from 12.7 percent to 5.8 percent. Nationally, Medicaid expansion states saw a 50 percent greater reduction in infant mortality than non-expansion states.

“Iowans should be proud of this significant accomplishment as ensuring women have health coverage during this critical stage of life helps both mother and child,” said Joan Alker, executive director of the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families. “This report underscores the need to keep Medicaid strong, so women and their families have access to continuous health coverage.”

Iowa must support a strong Medicaid program to keep this trend going in the right direction. There are many benefits—research shows that health coverage prior to pregnancy helps address risk factors such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease and improves access to timely prenatal care.

“Medicaid has helped more women gain access to the care they need before, during, and after pregnancy, improving their health and the health of their newborns,” said Mary Nelle Trefz, health policy associate. “Our state leaders need to focus on keeping Medicaid strong and saying no to barriers that would restrict coverage for Iowa families.”

Learn more and access the full report here.

05/24/2019 10:20 AM |Add a comment
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