If you are interested in writing your Senator Jim Stamas or your local legislator, here is the letter I sent.
Dear Senator Stamas,
I am writing you today because you are the Chair of the Appropriations Committee. I want to bring your attention to Senate Bill 0252 which aims to ensure the continued extension of postpartum Medicaid coverage for Michigan women from two to twelve months. While women have this coverage today due to the appropriations of state funds in the current fiscal year, it is important that SB 0252 is passed to continue this coverage independent of the appropriations process. I urge you to schedule an Appropriations Committee hearing on SB 0252 as soon as possible. As a mother of two, I personally can attest to the importance of sufficient physical and mental health care coverage during this time. During the first year of motherhood, we have to focus on ensuring the health and wellbeing of our children despite our own health being in jeopardy. The health of new mothers is jeopardized due to complications of pregnancy and childbirth and these can extend well past 60 days postpartum, when current Medicaid coverage ends for Michigan women who receive Medicaid due to pregnancy.
16.4% of Michigan women experience postpartum depression, compared to 13.2% nationally.
Women with substance use disorder are more likely to relapse and overdose seven to 12 months postpartum
Each year in Michigan, we lose between 80 and 90 women during pregnancy or within the first year of their child’s life.
17% percent of these deaths occur after 43 days postpartum.
And nearly 50% of those deaths are preventable.
Medicaid covers 41% of births in Michigan.
One in ten women are insured through Medicaid.
I have worked in Medicaid managed care for the last 12 years and have seen firsthand the value that Medicaid coverage provides to the women. Not only do they receive coverage for their healthcare services, they receive case management support and are encouraged to address their preventive health care needs to live healthier lives. By extending Medicaid coverage for a full year postpartum, we can ensure that a good proportion of Michigan women will receive the health care services they need to support their health and wellbeing for the first year of their child’s life. This in turn will ensure that they can do the same for their children and foster greater health and safety for their families. For this reason, the passing of Senate Bill 0252 will positively impact the lives of Michiganders for generations to come. I ask that you schedule a hearing for Senate Bill 0252 and vote yes for this bill.
Thank you for your time,
Mother / MSW Student / Director of Clinical Program Development at Centene