The state’s health care program now provides 12 months of medically necessary physical, dental, vision, and behavioral care to women in Oregon who give birth and their children while enrolled in Medicaid.
Previously, the period of postpartum care for women who are eligible for coverage under the Oregon Health Plan due to their pregnant status was set at 60 days. After the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) got federal clearance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to prolong benefits for 12 months after delivering birth, the modification went into effect retroactively in April.
Over 40% of newborns in the United States are covered by Medicaid. During the June Oregon Health Policy Board Meeting, OHA Director Patrick Allen stated that it was at least that high in Oregon.
For both parents and newborns, the postpartum period is crucial because it includes physical recuperation, nursing support, mental health challenges, and treating health issues that may be made worse by pregnancy.
The expansion of postpartum care is intended to help OHA achieve its 2030 objective of eradicating health care disparities.
Pregnancy-related mortality is two to three times more common among Black non-Latino and American Indian/Alaskan Native communities than in white populations, according to research from the HHS Office of Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation.
According to the survey, one-third of pregnancy-related deaths take place during the first year of giving birth.
How to Receive Support?
The Oregon Health Plan members who are qualified during their pregnancy will automatically receive extended coverage; there is no need to sign up for a new program in order to take advantage of it.
According to Liz Gharst, OHA Health Policy Communications Officer, medical practitioners have been informed of the potential benefits of the coverage.
According to Erin Fair Taylor, vice president of Medicaid Programs at PacificSource Health Plans, this expansion of treatment includes providing pregnant women with a more comprehensive vision and dental care, which is often less extensive.
Taylor emphasized the value of interaction between service providers and OHP customers. She advised anyone in need of assistance to contact PacificSource at 888-977-9299 for assistance in understanding the care options available to them, locating providers who accept OHP, and any other health navigation queries.
We don’t want anyone to struggle alone, Taylor said. We’re available to assist.
According to her, many patients who are having trouble getting appointments with their obstetrician or primary care physician phone her office searching for assistance.
Local mothers who recently gave birth “received no help,”
Other local mothers spoke about their postpartum difficulties.
It was challenging, according to Keizer resident Katrina Rivera, to find OHP-accepting dental offices that weren’t completely booked.
While waiting for continuing OHP coverage, Albany’s mom McKenzie Kay struggled to have her medicine filled since she had postpartum PTSD.
Kay claimed that after pleading with both her doctor and the pharmacy, she was unable to have the prescription filled.
Since I couldn’t afford to pay for them out of pocket, Kay explained, “I abruptly stopped taking them in their place.”
She said, “I was so bewildered and got no help.
After giving birth, Salem resident Julia Regan battled postpartum depression and hypochondria. Six months after giving birth, Regan claimed that she had no choice but to turn to the neighborhood and other local mothers for help.
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