Statement on Texas’ Maternal Health Coverage Waiver

For Immediate Release

Contact: Peter Clark, 512-473-2274,

Austin — Recent reports suggest that the federal government is not expected to approve the Texas Medicaid waiver to implement HB 133 for six-month postpartum health coverage, although federal officials note they have not made a formal decision on the waiver. Following these reports, Diana Forester, Director of Health Policy for Texans Care for Children, issued the following statement:

“We’re very disappointed that the six-month extension apparently isn’t moving forward, but we’re glad to see Texas legislators on both sides of the aisle are already vowing to pass a full 12 months of health coverage for new moms next session.

“It was clearly a risk when Texas leaders decided to pursue this waiver for a six-month extension rather than the standard 12-month plan outlined in federal Medicaid policy. The federal government is providing fast-track approval, rather than requiring a slow and uncertain waiver process, for states that use a “State Plan Amendment” or “SPA.” To request a SPA, states’ applications must provide for 12-month coverage and follow other Medicaid rules. As Texas leaders develop plans for 12-month coverage, we encourage them to follow that SPA process that so many other states in the south and across the country have successfully pursued for maternal health coverage. 

“Fortunately, the pandemic Public Health Emergency policies are still in place, so for now the federal government is continuing to provide Texas with funding for moms to stay enrolled in Medicaid health insurance beyond two months. Clearly, we don’t want to see a return to Texas kicking moms off of health coverage when their baby turns two months old.

“With South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Kentucky, and most other states extending moms’ health coverage to a full 12 months, it’s time for Texas to step up for moms too.”