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Bill extends postpartum Medicaid coverage for low-income mothers

Updated March 8, 2023 - 7:37 pm

CARSON CITY — Low-income mothers could get postpartum care for up to a year after giving birth under a bill introduced Wednesday.

Senate Bill 232 would extend Medicaid coverage for postpartum care from the current 60-day window after birth to 12 months.

“It’s no secret, certainly not to me and not to other people have carried children, that being pregnant is something that not only affects your body to a significant degree, but also your mind,” said Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro, D-Las Vegas, the bill’s primary sponsor. “Having that kind of support really is so critical just because there are so many needs for new moms and moms who are having their next child.”

If passed, Nevada would join 29 states that have already approved the extended coverage, which was authorized as part of the American Rescue Plan Act.

In 2021, 55 percent of births in Nevada were covered by Medicaid, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services. And it’s not just physical health that can be a concern for women following birth. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, 1 in 8 women who recently gave birth experience symptoms of postpartum depression.

“The postpartum depression and psychosis is very real,” said Assemblywoman Michelle Gorelow, D-Las Vegas, the bill’s sponsor in the Assembly. “I just think it’s an important component to making sure we have the healthiest outcome for our Nevada families.”

The bill requires the state to pay for the care not covered by federal dollars. Cannizzaro said the final cost estimates haven’t been determined at this time.

Elizabeth Ray, a spokesperson with Gov. Joe Lombardo’s office’s said his office would continue monitoring bills and will “engage when we feel necessary.”


Contact Taylor R. Avery at TAvery@reviewjournal.com. Follow @travery98 on Twitter.

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