LINCOLN, Neb. Oct. 4- Ensuring the health and well-being of new moms and babies took a positive step forward last week when Governor Pillen announced that Nebraska Medicaid postpartum coverage will be extended from two months to twelve months beginning on January 1, 2024.  “This is terrific news,” said Brian Krannawitter, government relations director for the American Heart Association. “We are grateful to the Governor for his decision. Extending postpartum coverage to a full year will help thousands of moms, their babies, and their families.”

Despite steep declines in global maternal mortality rates over the past two decades, maternal mortality rates have more than doubled since data collection began in the U.S. in 1987. More than one in three maternal deaths occur following birth, with cause-specific mortality from heart disease and stroke being highest in the six weeks to one year after giving birth.

“Extending Medicaid postpartum coverage is an important step toward preventing the devastating stories we’re fighting to prevent,” said Shannon Hilaire, a heart disease survivor and communications director with the American Heart Association. “Cardiac risk can occur up to 6 months after pregnancy, and recovering from the physical and emotional trauma requires so much more time. Having continuous access to healthcare for twelve months following the birth of a child can save the lives of the women we hold near and dear to our hearts.”

Extending health care coverage from 60 days to 12 months following birth is important to addressing health issues that are discovered during pregnancy or resulting from pregnancy and will allow:

  • Lower income pregnant women to obtain comprehensive care coverage so they can get all of the health care services they need to be healthy during and following pregnancy.
  • Lower risk of health problems for the baby during infancy and long-term benefits throughout growth and development
  • A higher rate of women more likely to seek well-child visits for their children.
  • Fewer children at risk for out-of-home placement
  • Assistance with early identification and treatment of postpartum depression, quitting smoking, preventing violence, and treating substance use disorders.


About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.orgFacebookX or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.


For Media Contact:
Shannon Hilaire
Communications & Marketing Director,

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721) and