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Feds sign off on extended postpartum care in Florida

A <em>JAMA Psychiatry</em> study found that 1 in 7 mothers are affected by postpartum depression.
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A JAMA Psychiatry study found that 1 in 7 mothers are affected by postpartum depression.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday approved a plan that will extend care through Florida’s Medicaid program for women after they have babies.

The plan will extend from 60 days to 12 months the time that Medicaid will cover postpartum health care.

Lawmakers in 2021 approved the proposal, a priority of House Speaker Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, but it needed approval from the federal government.

In a news release, the federal agency said the approval is expected to extend care for 52,000 Florida families. It also will apply to girls who are covered through the Florida KidCare subsidized health-insurance program and become pregnant and have babies.

The Department of Health and Human Services also approved extended coverage for California, Kentucky and Oregon.

“The first year after giving birth is a critical period — and families deserve the peace of mind knowing they will be able to access the health care coverage they need, without interruption,” Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a prepared statement.