North Carolina is experiencing a maternal health crisis.
Unsafe gaps in health insurance coverage, particularly for women on Medicaid and disproportionately women of color, are contributing to poor maternal and infant health outcomes. Medicaid covers more than half of all births in North Carolina, but unfortunately, this coverage ends just 60 days after delivery – when many new parents and babies are medically vulnerable and experience physical and mental health challenges that are unique to the postpartum period. Extending Medicaid coverage for postpartum women can help to prevent maternal and infant deaths and help ensure new moms have continuous, uninterrupted access to care to address their ongoing health needs and properly care for their newborn and themselves.
Key Things to Know:
- 15% of postpartum deaths occurred more than 6 weeks after birth.
- 63% of all pregnancy-related deaths were found to be preventable.
- Black women in North Carolina are nearly twice as likely to die than white women when it comes to maternal deaths, and Black infants are more than twice as likely than infants in white families to die before their first birthdays.
- Extending postpartum Medicaid coverage from 60 days to 12 months is an important step in making sure new parents are able to take care of themselves and their babies during the critical first year of life.