Healthy Moms = Healthy Kids

12 January 2017 Published in New Publications

 

Support Medicaid Family Planning Services

Unintended pregnancies put the health of the mother and the baby at risk. Family planning services reduce rates of unintended pregnancies and improve maternal and child health.

Almost all private plans cover these services, yet one in five Utah women report not seeing a health care provider in the last year because of cost. Women who are uninsured or underinsured have a hard time accessing the health care and family planning services they need. Utah is one of only eight states that does not offer family planning services to women. A Medicaid family planning policy has been shown to support healthier moms, increased attainment of post-secondary education and employment gains. Voices for Utah Children supports investing in Medicaid family planning services.

The Medicaid Family Planning State Plan Amendment (SPA) is a fiscally-prudent state option that allows Medicaid to provide family planning services to individuals below poverty. With the SPA, Utah could expect to save an estimated $822,400 per year in the General Fund. For every $1 spent on family planning services, the state would save $7.09. The SPA has been shown to support healthier moms, more enduring marriages, and increased attainment of post-secondary education and employment.

Improve Mental Healthcare for Moms

Too many women suffer from perinatal mood disorders. More than just the short-lived “baby blues,” maternal depression and mood disorders can affect a women’s ability to care for her new baby. At least 13% of Utah moms are affected by maternal mood disorders every year. Many more are never diagnosed.

When new moms lose their health care insurance, they are unable to get affordable treatment and care for depression. Currently, a new mother loses Medicaid coverage just 60 days after she gives birth. For thousands of women, this means they will fall into the insurance coverage gap and go without health insurance. For most women, this means forgoing needed care.

Health insurance coverage for new mothers ensures that they can get the care they need, so they can care for their new baby. Helping moms helps the whole family thrive.

Complete the Cycle of Care for Moms and Kids:
Eliminate the 5-year Wait for Lawfully-residing Immigrant Pregnant Women

In 2016, the Utah Legislature and Department of Health made important progress for children by ending the five-year waiting period for lawfully-residing immigrant children. We support the Legislature for connecting more children with care. We need to complete the circle by ending the five-year wait for pregnant women as well. Prenatal Medicaid coverage assures that a mom-to-be will get comprehensive, affordable care and her baby will get a healthy start.

Currently, 23 states have removed the waiting period for pregnant women. Voices for Utah Children supports removing this unnecessary barrier for lawfully-residing immigrant women in Utah.

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For 30 years now, Voices for Utah Children has called on our state, federal and local leaders to put children’s needs first. But the work is not done. The children of 30 years ago now have children of their own. Too many of these children are growing up in poverty, without access to healthcare or quality educational opportunities.

How can you be involved?

Make a tax-deductible donation to Voices for Utah Children—or join our Network with a monthly donation of $20 or more.  Network membership includes complimentary admission to Network events with food, socializing, and opportunity to meet child advocacy experts. And don't forget to join our listserv to stay informed!

We look forward to the future of Voices for Utah Children and we hope you will be a part of our next 30 years.

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