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Pritzker celebrates bill that expands maternal, postpartum care

Gov. J. B. Pritzker celebrated Friday the passage of legislation that aims to reduce health disparities for all Illinois women.

CENTREVILLE, Ill. — Gov. J. B. Pritzker announced the passage of legislation Friday that expanded the maternal and postpartum legislation passed earlier this year. 

Pritzker shared the news of the passage of Senate Bill 967 on Friday, Sept. 17 at Touchette Regional Hospital in Centreville.

SB967 extended the maternal and postpartum Medicaid coverage, including services like prenatal depression screenings and nurse home visitation, to all legal and undocumented residents of Illinois for an entire year after pregnancy. The bill aimed to reduce health disparities for all Illinois women and improve maternal health outcomes for women of color.

The Illinois Department of Public Health's October 2018 report on maternal morbidity and morality found that non-Hispanic Black women were six times more likely to die of a pregnancy related condition than non-Hispanic white women.

The bill created requirements for private insurance as well. Requirements include coverage of postpartum services, such as those that provide support for mental health and substance abuse.

"We are affirming Illinoisans' control over the most personal decisions of their lives, with access to care they need and deserve along the way," Pritzker said.

RELATED: Gov. Pritzker vows to protect abortion rights in Illinois

Earlier this year, Pritzker announced April 13 the extension of full Medicaid benefits from just 60 days to 12 months postpartum, which made Illinois the first state in the U.S. to do so. 

According to a news release, the 12-month extension strengthened continuity of care to improve health outcomes for mothers and will reduce the rate of maternal morbidity and morality.   

View the full news conference here: