An article published on July 18, 2023, highlighted a recent study that illustrated how restrictive eligibility for public insurance affects maternal health care in low-income people. Regardless of documentation status, the study showed that low-income immigrants in the United States had limited access to maternal and postpartum care. The already large disparity in insurance coverage between low-income immigrant women of reproductive age and low-income women who are U.S. citizens of reproductive age is exacerbated by the fact that Medicaid coverage for the former is only allowed after they have been documented for five years. Though some states waive the waiting period and about 20 states allow for some form of insurance coverage to low-income pregnant people, not all of these states extend the care into the postpartum period, an equally, if not more so, vulnerable time for new mothers.
By Leah Sarfity, Policy Intern