The Senate Health and Welfare Committee on Wednesday heard public testimony on a pair of bills to expand health coverage to new moms. SB 45, sponsored by Sen. Elaine Gannon (R - De Soto), and SB 90, sponsored by Sen. Tracy McCreery (D - St. Louis), would extend postpartum Medicaid coverage for low-income women from 60 days to one year postpartum. The senators estimated that the bills would cover around 4,600 women per year who would otherwise lose their coverage after 60 days postpartum. They also pointed to findings from the Missouri Pregnancy Associated Mortality Review Board last year that found 75% of pregnancy-related deaths were preventable and that most occurred between 43 days and one year after pregnancy.
A wide range of groups, including the MCC, testified in support of the proposals, with only one group opposing in part. The two proposals will be rolled into one bill, which must be voted out of committee before being considered by the entire Missouri Senate.