Planning for the Fourth Trimester: Medicaid Postpartum Coverage Extension Implementation

Over the years, US maternal mortality reviews found a consistent theme: not only were 84% of maternal deaths preventable, but more than half of all maternal deaths happen during the 1-year postpartum period. This fueled U.S health advocates to encourage states to offer pregnancy and postpartum members Medicaid health insurance benefits for a full 12 months after giving birth, instead of just the initial 60 days currently offered. The postpartum period happens after birth when new parents are out of the hospital and past the six-to-eight week post-pregnancy check up visit. During this delicate time, the well-being of new moms are often overlooked as families adjust to their newborns. As a result, moms are at a higher risk of cardiomyopathy and mental health conditions

Keeping the headlines in mind: “Black women face higher maternal death rates…” and “There’s a Black maternal health crisis”; we have a constant reminder there is a need to act and use data to fuel innovation and solutions addressing disparities. Postpartum coverage extension is a great primary tool to improving maternal health, but it’s not a panacea; to maximize this policy change, we should be planning for implementation. As a digital health company who is providing digital+doula support to Black expecting people, including those covered via Medicaid, here’s how we believe states can maximize extending Medicaid postpartum coverage and how we – Mae – can support you in that effort. 

Research promotes an integrative care model that leverages the use of telehealth, midwives, and doulas to improve access to healthcare for new and expectant mothers. Mae, is a digital-first maternal health platform that partners with Medicaid managed care organizations to offer members pregnancy support and educational content tailored specifically towards Black women and birthing people. Most prominently, our platform also features a marketplace of culturally-competent doulas, lactation consultants, and other birth support practitioners. We offer our doulas technical assistance in onboarding with Medicaid agencies (where appropriate), health plans, and billing and reimbursement. 

Postpartum coverage extension can have lasting effects on the health of women and their families, reducing the likelihood of overlooked women’s and postpartum health issues, and improved subsequent pregnancies. We can plan for the ongoing improvement of care coverage for the year postpartum to quickly maximize on extension. Mae is here to support you as you formulate a plan to address your state’s needs. 

Mae is meaningfully focused on providing integrated care to those insured by Medicaid, as a way to increase access to care, specifically for Black women and expecting people. We are passionate about supporting women through their maternal health journey. 

Help improve the health of moms in your community. 

If you’re pregnant, learn about our support at

If you’re a doula looking to partner with Mae, visit 

If you’re interested in becoming a partner, visit


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