Governor Signs HB 12 to Extend TX Moms’ Postpartum Health Coverage to 12 Months

For Immediate Release
June 16, 2023
Contact: Peter Clark,

Austin – Today Governor Greg Abbott signed HB 12, legislation 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.

“Instead of losing their health coverage just two months after their pregnancy, Texas moms will be able to keep seeing their doctor and taking their medications during this critical time for their health and their baby’s health,” said Diana Forester, Director of Health Policy for Texans Care for Children. Ms. Forester and Texans Care for Children CEO Stephanie Rubin both attended the signing ceremony.

“We’re so grateful to Representative Toni Rose, Senator Lois Kolkhorst, and all the legislators who helped pass this bill,” she said. “We thank Speaker Dade Phelan for making the bill a House priority for the last two sessions and Governor Abbott for signing the bill today. Additionally, we appreciate all the Texas women who had the courage to tell their personal stories about the pregnancy-related health challenges they have faced and the importance of continued health coverage.” 

“We’re excited that Texas is catching up to the rest of the country on postpartum health coverage,” said Ms. Forester.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 41 others states (including Washington, DC) have already implemented 12-month postpartum coverage or are working on implementation. Most of the remaining states have Medicaid expansion in place.

Even when HB 12 is implemented, in most cases Texas women below the poverty line still will not have access to health coverage before their pregnancy, during the Medicaid application and approval process in their first trimester, and once their 12-month postpartum coverage ends. Medicaid expansion, which Texas has not yet approved, provides health coverage to women at those times. According to the Texas School Readiness Dashboard, nearly half of low-income Texas women of childbearing age do not have health coverage, ranking Texas 50th in the nation.

Texas must secure federal approval before HB 12 will be implemented. The final version of the bill was carefully written to allow Texas to submit a Medicaid “State Plan Amendment” (SPA) to the federal government for approval. A SPA is a fast-track process that allows for quick approval, as opposed to the long and uncertain process of applying for a Medicaid waiver. Texas is able to use the SPA process because the bill follows standard Medicaid postpartum policy, offering the full 12 months of coverage and including everyone enrolled in Medicaid for Pregnant Women with no limitations based on the outcome of the pregnancy.