By Matt Yonke | February 3, 2023
On February 3, Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy introduced a bill in the state’s legislature to expand medicare coverage for mothers and new babies from 60 days to 12 months.
The bill implements section 9812 of the American Rescue Act which allows for the 12 month extension.
Dunleavy said, “Maternal mental health is one of Alaska’s most significant contributing factors to pregnancy-associated deaths. Many women who experience postpartum depression don’t have an onset of symptoms until after that initial screening, which is too late to seek treatment with Medicaid coverage. Nearly 16 percent of women in Alaska who experienced perinatal depression or anxiety between 2015 and 2020 indicated that they could not access needed treatments or support due to challenges with insurance or cost. Expanding postpartum Medicaid coverage will ensure that mothers are able to receive the physical and mental health care needed support a strong start to their child’s life.”
Alongside efforts from several other states including Mississippi and Texas, this move from Alaska shows that lawmakers are hearing the pleas of the American people to give families a solid foundation in line with the ideas expressed in the Joint Statement on Building a Post-Roe Future.