As we have discussed in past blogs, the United States has a troublingly high rate of maternal mortality when compared to other high-income countries, with around 700 maternal deaths each year. The problem is especially prevalent among Black, Latino, and other low-income communities in which mothers have difficulty accessing quality healthcare. Fortunately, the State of Illinois has recognized that financial support for mothers and infants can help to combat this problem, and has recently taken action to extend Medicaid benefits for those in need.
Illinois Medicaid Benefits for Pregnant Women and New Mothers
Medicaid is a federally funded program that is administered by state agencies, with the intention of providing low-income individuals and families with financial assistance for healthcare costs. Medicaid eligibility requirements vary somewhat from state to state, but in Illinois, you generally must be at least 65 years old or have a qualifying condition. Pregnancy is one such qualifying condition.
In recent years, Illinois provided Medicaid benefits for pregnant women through two different programs. One program, known as Medicaid Presumptive Eligibility, or MPE, covers outpatient services as needed during pregnancy. The other program, known as Moms & Babies, provides more comprehensive coverage for both outpatient and inpatient care. This includes care during delivery, and for a duration after the child is born.
Until recently, coverage for mothers under the Illinois Moms & Babies program ended 60 days after childbirth. However, in April of this year, Illinois extended the coverage for up to 12 months, becoming the first state to do so. With this extended coverage, low-income Illinois mothers will have better protection from some of the common complications that can arise in the year following childbirth, including infections, postpartum hemorrhaging, and complications related to chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension.
Applying for Medicaid Benefits
In order to benefit from Illinois Medicaid coverage during and after your pregnancy, you will need to be sure that you use a care provider who participates in the MPE or Moms & Babies program. The Moms & Babies program also requires an application, and you will need to demonstrate that you qualify based on your household income and family size. To qualify for the newly extended benefits according to Illinois’s current Medicaid policy, your household income will need to be at or below 208 percent of the federal poverty level.
Contact an Illinois Maternal Injury Attorney
At the Birth Injury Law Alliance, LLC, we strive to help Illinois mothers access all available financial support to assist with their children’s healthcare needs and their own. We can help you understand whether you may qualify for Medicaid benefits and other governmental programs. We can also represent you in your pursuit of compensation if your injuries were caused by medical negligence. For a free consultation, call our Cook County birth injury lawyers today at 312-462-4200.