Tag Archives: Medicaid

Washington State Increases Postpartum Coverage Under Medicaid, Saving Lives

by Sally James and Emerald Staff


A new parent in poverty has more health protection in Washington because of a bill signed on April 16 by Gov. Jay Inslee. Senate Bill 5068 extends coverage to new mothers for an entire year after their child’s birth if they are covered by the state’s Medicaid program, known as Apple Health. 

The bill covers a gap in Medicaid coverage that will impact about 10,000 people in Washington state who lose coverage 60–90 days postpartum. People who were on Medicaid prior to being pregnant, and who qualify for Medicaid based on an income level about 300% of the federal poverty line are not affected and will continue to be covered. Those in the range of between 193% and 300% of the federal poverty level will now receive postpartum coverage thanks to the bill.

At least one physician, Lillian Wu, M.D., told the Emerald in an email that her patient’s face lit up with relief when she heard about the bill’s passage. The patient has a condition, which will now be covered for longer. Wu is the president of the Washington Academy of Family Physicians and practices in Renton.

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