TOPEKA (KSNT) – A plan to expand health care coverage to Kansas mothers under Kansas Medicaid (KanCare) has been approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The expansion includes the postpartum health care extension from two months to a year for Kansas mothers. It extends coverage for postpartum beneficiaries of KanCare and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Over 500,000 Kansans are enrolled in KanCare or CHIP.

“The first year after giving birth is a crucial period for both mom and baby,” said Janet Stanek, Secretary of Kansas Department of Health and Environment. “This extension not only improves maternal health options to those who may not have previously benefited, but also provides uninterrupted health care coverage stability. This improvement helps close gaps between health outcomes by placing all communities on a better course toward health and well-being.”

Prior to the postpartum extension, many mothers who relied on Medicaid would lose eligibility for Medicaid benefits around two months postpartum. This left many new mothers without access to medical and behavioral health care as they recovered from childbirth.

“This policy change, approved today by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, is welcome news and is a win for all Kansans,” David Jordan, President and CEO of the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund, said. “It will positively impact thousands of Kansas mothers each year—reducing maternal mortality, improving health outcomes, and reducing disparities.”