Comprehensive care throughout pregnancy promotes maternal and infant health through the identification and
prevention of pregnancy complications, the management of chronic maternal disease, and promoting healthy
birth spacing. Medicaid funds half of all pregnancy care in the United States (US). However, Medicaid
coverage is highly restricted among US-based Latinas. By federal law, both undocumented and documented
immigrants who have been in the US for less than five years are only eligible for Emergency Medicaid, a
federal safety net program that covers emergency care only. Thus, Emergency Medicaid covers the cost of a
delivery, but no prenatal or post-partum care.
States can expand their Emergency Medicaid coverage to encompass prenatal and/or postpartum care, but we
have no evidence about the impact of such policies. Oregon has implemented innovative policy that extends
coverage from the prenatal period through 60 days postpartum. We will compare care utilization rates and
interpregnancy interval Aim 1) between traditional Medicaid and Emergency Medicaid and Aim 2) within the
Emergency Medicaid population between South Carolina (a no-coverage state) and Oregon. We will also
estimate anticipated Medicaid costs and health benefits (Aim 3) of each coverage scenario. Our study will
generate findings that can be used to guide policy nationally as to the health benefits and Medicaid costs of
restricting access to pregnancy care.