12-Month Health Insurance for New Moms Coming Early 2024

This past legislative session, the Texas Legislature approved HB 12 by Rep. Toni Rose to allow Texans who receive their health insurance through Medicaid for Pregnant Women to keep their health coverage for 12 months after their pregnancy instead of two months. 

HB 12 is a major victory for healthy moms and healthy babies. It will provide life saving health coverage to over 120,000 moms every year who may otherwise be uninsured two months after pregnancy. According to the Texas School Readiness Dashboard, nearly half of Texas women of childbearing age with low incomes do not have health coverage, ranking Texas 50th in the nation. Once implemented, Texas will be the 46th state (including Washington, DC) to provide this health insurance coverage.

We’re excited to share that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) just took a key step towards implementing the bill. The state must submit a Medicaid “State Plan Amendment” (SPA) to the federal government for approval to finalize the new coverage period. In the October 13, 2023 edition of the Texas Register, the state Medicaid agency posted intent to submit the SPA, with an effective date of March 1, 2024. Assuming the federal government quickly approves the SPA, as most observers expect, then Texas women who have Medicaid for their pregnancy on or after March 1, 2024 will get 12 continuous months of health insurance following the end of their pregnancy. 

Additionally, the public notice states that individuals who were in Medicaid while pregnant and are still less than 12 months postpartum will be provided coverage for the remainder of their 12-month period, as long as they are still state residents. For example, if you had your baby in April 2023 and lost coverage two months postpartum at the end of July, you would get coverage for March and April 2024.

We appreciate the leadership of Rep. Toni Rose, Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, House Speaker Dade Phelan, and other legislators who helped pass this important bill, and we are grateful to Governor Greg Abbott for quickly signing HB 12. We are thankful to our partners at the state Medicaid agency for their hard work on the SPA and look forward to working with them to ensure a seamless transition to this additional coverage period so mothers can continue to see their medical provider, take their medications, and receive the health care they need.