As the Kansas legislature reconvenes for the veto session, Nurture KC is celebrating a huge win for Kansas families – extension of Medicaid coverage for postpartum mothers from 60 days to one year. Adopted and signed into law as part of the budget, postpartum extended coverage garnered rare, bipartisan support as legislators and the Governor prioritized maternal and infant health through action that will impact maternal health outcomes in a way that just talking about the issue doesn’t.
How many Kansas mothers will benefit from this policy? Estimates indicate 9,000 women are eligible to keep their health coverage with this change. Medicaid covers more than 30 percent of pregnancies in Kansas each year, serving as a vital safety net for our most vulnerable families. While many of our Healthy Start families in Wyandotte County will benefit directly from this policy change, this is not the only reason why it’s Nurture KC’s top legislative priority this year. Our goal is to drive down maternal and infant mortality in Kansas and Missouri and close the disparity that puts Black mothers and children at much higher risk for poor outcomes. While programming and direct service are essential, laws that prioritize these efforts shift the culture in a way that individual activities cannot.
This was a collaborative effort involving 29 organizations, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), the Kansas House and Senate and the Governor. Please join me in thanking our policymakers and KDHE for believing and acting on the importance of putting Kansas families first!
On the Missouri side, advocates continue to push for postpartum extended coverage as the session winds down. There is broad, bipartisan support for the policy. We will continue to keep you posted.
Executive Director, Nurture KC