Michigan Office of the Governor via AP, File
Michigan Office of the Governor via AP, File

The expansion of coverage—made possible by President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan—is expected to help 35,000 pregnant and postpartum people in Michigan each year, according to the governor’s office.


Need to Know

  • Expanding coverage to a full year will ensure moms have access to critical medical and behavioral health services to help them recover from childbirth, follow up on pregnancy complications, and address any mental health issues like postpartum depression.
  • At least one in 10 women experience depression during and after pregnancy, suicide rates among pregnant and postpartum people have increased in the past decade, and at least one-third of maternal deaths occur in the postpartum period.
  • Whitmer’s expansion of coverage—which coincides with Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month—is almost certain to save lives. 

MICHIGAN—Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Monday that the Biden administration approved her request to expand Medicaid coverage for a full 12-month postpartum period, to protect the health and well-being of moms and babies across the state.

The expansion of coverage is expected to help 35,000 pregnant and postpartum people in Michigan each year, according to the governor’s office. Until now, many Medicaid enrollees only received coverage for two or three months postpartum. Michigan is one of only 13 states thus far to extend Medicaid’s postpartum health coverage to a full year—a policy made possible by President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan.

“As a mom of two, I know firsthand how vital it is for every mom to have access to high-quality, affordable healthcare to care for herself and her new baby,” Whitmer said in a statement. “By extending these critical, 12-month postpartum benefits, we can improve long-term outcomes for moms and babies and close health disparities. We will continue working together to ensure every family can thrive with access to behavioral health services, screenings, and treatments to lead healthy and successful lives.” 

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Expanding coverage to a full year will ensure moms have access to critical medical and behavioral health services to help them recover from childbirth, follow up on pregnancy complications, and address any mental health issues like postpartum depression.

At least one in 10 women experience depression during and after pregnancy, suicide rates among pregnant and postpartum people have increased in the past decade, and at least one-third of maternal deaths occur in the postpartum period.

Whitmer’s expansion of coverage—which coincides with Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month—is almost certain to save lives. As of January 2018, Michigan’s Maternal Mortality Surveillance (MMMS) Committee found that approximately 50% of maternal deaths in Michigan were preventable.  

Tacking on another nine to 10 months of guaranteed healthcare coverage for moms and their newborns “is critical to reducing preventable deaths and will lead to better long-term health outcomes for new parents and newborns,” said Elizabeth Hertel, director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

If you currently receive Medicaid, you do not need to take any actions to receive the extended coverage. It will be extended automatically to 12 months past your reported delivery date. If you’re interested in learning more about Medicaid and whether you qualify, go to Michigan.Gov/MIBridges