Legislature Passes HB 12 to Support Healthy Moms

For Immediate Release
May 28, 2023
Contact: Peter Clark, 

Austin – Today the House and the Senate gave final approval to HB 12, sending Governor Greg Abbott the bipartisan legislation to extend Medicaid health insurance for moms to 12 months after pregnancy. Texas currently cuts off moms’ insurance two months after pregnancy.

The conference committee report that passed today includes a different version of the amendment that was added in the Senate late in session. The final version that passed the Legislature today will allow the state to request fast-track approval from the federal government (through a Medicaid “State Plan Amendment” or “SPA”) and quickly implement the bill rather than needing to request a slow and uncertain Medicaid Waiver. Describing the bill in the Fiscal Note, the Legislative Budget Board says, “The bill would require the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to continue Medicaid coverage to women enrolled during a pregnancy for at least 12 months, beginning the last day of the woman’s pregnancy.”

“We’re thrilled that Texas is taking this critical step forward to support healthy moms and babies,” said Diana Forester, Director of Health Policy at Texans Care for Children. “This legislation will ensure that more Texas moms can keep seeing their doctor, continue their medications, and take other steps to stay healthy during a time that is so important for their health and their baby’s health. 

“We’re so grateful to Representative Toni Rose, Senator Lois Kolkhorst, and all the legislators who helped pass this bill. We thank Speaker Dade Phelan for making the bill a House priority for the last two sessions. 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 urge the Governor to quickly sign the bill, and we urge the Health and Human Services Commission to implement the bill as swiftly as possible. There is added urgency for prompt implementation because, with pandemic-era Medicaid rules recently ending, Texas just restarted the state policy of removing moms from their health insurance just two months after their pregnancy.”

Governor Abbott, the Texas GOP platform, Texas Democrats’ platform, the Texas Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Review Committee, and more than 170 Texas groups have all called for extending new moms’ health coverage to 12 months. This is the third session in a row that 12-month coverage passed the Texas House. Thirty-eight other states, including Florida, Alabama, South Carolina and Oklahoma, have all passed the 12-month extension.