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Summers commends passage of Medicaid expansion for pregnant women, more action needed in 2023

IBLC, News & Media

INDIANAPOLIS – State Representative Vanessa Summers (D-Indianapolis), Ranking Democrat on the House Family, Children and Human Affairs Committee, today celebrated the passage of House Bill 1140.

House Bill 1140 permanently extends postpartum Medicaid coverage from 60 days to 12 months beginning on the last day of pregnancy. The bill also expands access to care by increasing the Medicaid income eligibility requirements and removing the Medicaid limitation for pregnant women of medical assistance coverage only for pregnancy related services.

According to the latest report from Indiana Maternal Mortality Review Committee (MMRC), 86% of maternal deaths occur in the postpartum period and 90% of all pregnancy-related deaths were preventable.

“The permanent expansion of postpartum care will align with the findings of the MMRC and the needs of Hoosier women,” said Summers. “Our state's maternal health rankings are shameful, this bill will eliminate red tape and save lives.”

According to the most recent MMRC report, Black mothers die at nearly double the rate of white women in Indiana. The leading cause of death was accidental overdose.

“HB 1140 is a vital step in addressing the needs of women in our state,” Summers added. “I hope during the next legislative session we can provide solutions for additional findings of the MMRC report, including racial disparities in care and mental health support. We should not continue to lose mothers to preventable tragedies.”

House Bill 1140 passed the House and Senate and now moves to the governor's desk to be signed into law.

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