MONDAY, Nov. 6, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Postpartum Medicaid extensions go some way to addressing beneficiaries’ health and social needs, according to a study published in the November issue of Health Affairs.
Jamie R. Daw, Ph.D., from Columbia University in New York City, and colleagues conducted a representative survey of postpartum people in six states and New York City from January 2021 to March 2022 to inform state initiatives to support the newly covered population whose pregnancy Medicaid eligibility was extended to one year postpartum.
The researchers found that Medicaid respondents were less likely to have a usual source of care compared with respondents with commercial insurance at the time of childbirth, and they reported less use of primary, specialty, and dental care in the postpartum year. The Medicaid population had significantly higher depression symptoms and social concerns such as food insecurity, intimate partner violence, and financial strain. Both populations had similar rates of anxiety symptoms, delaying or not getting needed care, and unsatisfactory child care.
“Our study also shows the feasibility and utility of expanding the existing U.S. public health data infrastructure to capture the experiences of postpartum people,” the authors write. “Investments in collection of data on postpartum people at a national scale will be critical to support evidence-based policy making to improve maternal health and well-being.”
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