How Long Does Medicaid Cover Baby After Birth?

In this article...
  • Find out how long your newborn baby can be covered by Medicaid after they're born and learn the answers to other common questions about Medicaid and childbirth.

If you're pregnant or hoping to become pregnant, you might be wondering how long Medicaid covers baby after birth. Thankfully, newborn babies are automatically covered under their mothers' Medicaid plans. Read on to find out how long babies are covered and how Medicaid coverage works during pregnancy.

How Long Does Medicaid Cover Baby After Birth?

If you're covered by Medicaid or CHIP during your pregnancy, your newborn baby will continue to receive those benefits for a period of one year after they're born. This helps ensure your baby has access to necessary wellness checks when they're most vulnerable, as well as necessary medical care if they're born with any unexpected health issues.

Qualifying for Medicaid During Pregnancy

Medicaid coverage helps low-income Americans access safe health care services for free or at a heavily subsidized cost. In some cases, pregnant women qualify for temporary coverage to help them access prenatal care throughout their pregnancy and postnatal care for themselves and their child.

If you don't qualify for Medicaid, you might be eligible for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) — a low-cost public health insurance plan that's jointly funded by state and federal governments. CHIP is designed to provide health care coverage for uninsured children from families that don't meet the low-income limits for Medicaid eligibility. It's important to note that in some states, CHIP may have waiting lists and premiums and/or copayments might be required.

Eligibility for both of these programs is based mostly on household income, and the limits vary depending on what state you live in. While there are federal Medicaid guidelines in place to ensure all Americans have access to adequate medical care, each state also has its own rules when it comes to coverage and copays. To find out what you might be eligible for during pregnancy, it's best to contact your state's Medicaid agency directly.

How Much Does Medicaid Cover for Pregnancy? 

If you're pregnant and enrolled in a Medicaid or CHIP plan, you'll have coverage for prenatal medical care, labor and delivery and any medically necessary services you receive during that time. Federal regulations stipulate that all states must provide coverage for inpatient and outpatient hospital care during pregnancy. Other mandatory benefits include: 

  • Nurse midwife services
  • Laboratory and X-ray services
  • Freestanding birth center services (when licensed by the state)
  • Tobacco cessation counseling for pregnant women

Many states choose to extend coverage and provide additional services, including chiropractic care. To find out what benefits you're eligible for, it's best to check with your state's Medicaid or CHIP agency.

Continuing Your Medicaid After Giving Birth

Your Medicaid or CHIP coverage might change after baby is born, depending on your situation. If you became eligible during your pregnancy, you can expect to be covered for a period of 60 days after you give birth. This helps you access necessary postnatal care after childbirth. If you had Medicaid coverage prior to getting pregnant and your financial situation hasn't changed, you can typically expect your coverage to continue as usual. If your coverage is going to lapse, Medicaid or CHIP will notify you beforehand.

Does My Medicaid Cover My Newborn?

Your infant will automatically continue receiving Medicaid or CHIP coverage for a period of one year after they're born. After this period, you may need to reapply to obtain further coverage for them.

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