COLUMBUS, OH, March 21, 2022 - During the last Operating Budget process (HB 110), the State of Ohio Legislature approved a provision that would allow the Office of Medicaid to extend the current 60-day postpartum Medicaid benefit to one full year. This extended coverage will go into effect on April 1, 2022.

Despite steep declines in global maternal mortality rates over the past two decades, U.S. maternal mortality rates have more than doubled to an estimated 700 deaths a year in the United States since data collection began in 1987. Heart disease and stroke contribute to 1 in 3 of those deaths, making cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of new moms. Additionally, a growing body of evidence showing some of the most dangerous pregnancy-related complications such as preeclampsia, blood clots, and cardiomyopathy may not surface until weeks, or even months, after delivery. 

“More than half of pregnancy-related deaths occur in the 12-month postpartum period, and 12 percent occur after six weeks postpartum, however, an estimated two out of three pregnancy deaths are preventable, making the postpartum period a time of vulnerability for all new mothers,” says Gail Hogan, cardiac arrest survivor and chair of the American Heart Association’s State of Ohio Advocacy Committee. “This extension of Medicaid coverage for postpartum women will help ensure new moms have continuous uninterrupted access to care to address their ongoing health needs.”

Significant and persistent disparities exist in pregnancy-related morbidity and mortality. Non-Hispanic Black and American Indian/Alaska Native women are nearly two to three times likely to die than white women and are more likely to have a preventable death. There are also disparities in rates of postpartum follow-up care for conditions associated with morbidity and mortality. More generally, individuals who have a lower level of education, individuals who are Black or Hispanic, and individuals with co-existing morbidities, such as mental health conditions, have lower rates of postpartum care.

The extended postpartum coverage in the state of Ohio will improve postpartum care and address these disparities. States that have expanded Medicaid eligibility to provide coverage beyond 60 days postpartum report an increase in postpartum care visits, continuity in coverage, and enhanced engagement of individuals in health care.




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 a century. During 2024 - our Centennial year - we celebrate our rich 100-year history and accomplishments. As we forge ahead into our second century of bold discovery and impact our vision is to advance health and hope for everyone, everywhere. Connect with us on, Facebook, X or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.   


For Media Inquiries:
Brianne Ballard, Communications Director:
For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721) and