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State Rep. Summers applauds Indiana expansion of postpartum Medicaid coverage

IBLC, News & Media

INDIANAPOLIS – State Rep. Vanessa Summers (D-Indianapolis) today applauded the announcement that Indiana will expand postpartum Medicaid coverage from two months to one year.

Last month, Summers called upon the state to seek the option to expand Medicaid for new mothers from the federal government. This initiative was made possible through the American Rescue Plan.

This week (April 11 to April 17) is Black Maternal Health Week. This week strives to bring awareness to the racial disparities within the nation's health care system that lead to poor health outcomes for Black mothers in particular. In Indiana, Black mothers are dying at a rate disproportionate to white women, with 53 Black women dying out of every 100,000 births compared to 44 white women.

“It is very appropriate that this announcement is being made during Black Maternal Health Week,” Summers said. “I am thrilled that Indiana is finally offering its support to our mothers who need it most.

87% of pregnancy-associated deaths occurred postpartum, with a significant portion of those coming 6 weeks after giving birth. By expanding Medicaid coverage, we are providing mothers with the continued care they need to survive and to be around to raise their babies.

“This progress is very encouraging, but the work doesn't stop here. Indiana still has a long way to go to correct its alarming maternal mortality ranking. I look forward to keeping the momentum and working to make Indiana a supportive, healthy environment for mothers and their babies.”

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