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Beverly Robertson's picture

Did you know that, even though open enrollment season for health insurance has closed, enrollment in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is open all-year round?

Good news for pregnant moms

This is good news for expectant moms who cannot afford coverage, since it means that they can still get the prenatal care needed for a healthy pregnancy. While the details of the benefits vary by state, coverage includes, at minimum, all health care related to pregnancy, labor, and delivery and any complications that may occur during pregnancy. Eligibility levels also vary slightly by state. Generally, a total family income of $44,122 for a family of four will qualify pregnant moms for low-cost or free health coverage through Medicaid or CHIP. (But check with your state for details.)

Good news for children

This is also good news for children or teens up to age 19. Through Medicaid or CHIP, children can get regular check-ups, immunizations, doctor and dentist visits, hospital care, mental health services, prescription drugs, and more.  Qualifications are based on total family income. Check with your state to see if your children qualify.

Good news for women who are not pregnant

But this news is especially welcome for uninsured women who are notpregnant. As a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), states now have the choice to expand their Medicaid coverage to low-income adults, an option known as “Medicaid expansion.” States who have taken up the Medicaid expansion option will now provide comprehensive, affordable coverage to eligible adults. In these states, low-income women of childbearing age are now able to obtain coverage before and between pregnancies, offering them access to services to improve their overall and reproductive health. These essential services include screening for high blood pressure and chronic conditions, tobacco cessation, weight loss programs to reduce the risk of diabetes, substance abuse counseling and other preventive and therapeutic care.

So, this Mother’s Day, to learn more about Medicaid and CHIP and how to enroll, visit or your state’s Medicaid agency. Or call 1-877-KIDS-NOW (1-877-543-7669). For the sake of a healthy pregnancy, your kids’ health, and the health of your future children, give yourself the gift of health insurance.  Even though there is no deadline, why wait?

This post is courtesy of Michelle Sternthal, Ph.D., Deputy Director, Federal Affairs, Office of Government Affairs at the March of Dimes, and was orignally posted at the March of Dimes site.


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