Illinois became the first state in the U.S. to extend full Medicaid benefits to new mothers from 60 days to one year postpartum, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Tuesday.
The extension aims to reduce the rate of maternal morbidity, according to Pritzker, noting health disparities for Black women during the period after giving birth.
“Every mother in Illinois deserves access to quality healthcare following the birth of a child, regardless of their income level,” Pritzker said in a statement. “This coverage expansion will further my administration’s work to reduce health disparities in communities across the state and improve maternal health outcomes for women of color.”
I'm proud that Illinois continues to be a national leader in protecting our families. @CMSGov approved expanded Medicaid postpartum coverage for mothers in Illinois, making us the first state to provide continuous coverage for up to a year after a birth. https://t.co/DHSGYoN9SF https://t.co/FXkOtblbjz
— Governor JB Pritzker (@GovPritzker) April 13, 2021
According to a press release, women with incomes up to 208% of the federal poverty level will have continuous healthcare benefits eligibility through 12 months postpartum.
Illinois’ extension of coverage should help mothers better manage chronic conditions such as hypertension and diabetes, a press release said, and provide important health services.
This article originally appeared on NBC Chicago.