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An effective way to close care gaps would be to foster better coordination between Medicaid and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), according to a new survey from health tech company Pacity Health.

The results suggest that while Medicaid-eligible parents appreciate their health plan and trust their doctors for medical advice, WIC programs hold the key to influencing behavior.

According to the survey, at least half of respondents identified eating healthy food (52%) and accessing emotional support (50%) as a challenge during their pregnancy. But when asked whether their Medicaid health plan asked them about these challenges, 60% said no. And 59% reported that no one at their Medicaid health plan followed up to help them get care.

The reverse is true for WIC. Most respondents said someone at their WIC clinic asked them about challenges they faced (58%), and 53% said someone at their WIC clinic followed up to help them.

Authors said that since Medicaid and WIC often serve the same population, “both could benefit from the trust members have in their Medicaid plan and the support and education they receive at WIC clinics.”


Among the other findings: While 55% of respondents said they were extremely likely to recommend their Medicaid health plan to another pregnant parent, 76% said they were extremely likely to recommend WIC to another pregnant parent.

Eighty percent of those who participated in WIC said they were likely to participate in another service offered by the program, whereas 71% of respondents said they were either likely or very likely to use another service offered by their Medicaid health plan.

Meanwhile, 58% of respondents said they trusted their Medicaid health plan more than their WIC clinic for healthcare advice.


Pregnant people and those with children have been the focus of recent policy changes and proposals meant to shore up access and quality for the group. For instance, about 253,000 parents have gained access to 12 months of postpartum coverage through Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program extensions, according to June data from the Department of Health and Human Services. It’s part of the current administration’s push to address maternal mortality and morbidity.

The current administration has backed a number of policies aimed at improving maternal health. Last year, President Biden issued the first-ever presidential proclamation marking Black Maternal Health Week. It is coupled with a set of initial actions to address the Black maternal health crisis. Vice President Kamala Harris hosted the first-ever White House Day of Action on maternal health.

In addition, HHS recently issued a new final rule for Title X, the nation’s family planning program, to ensure access to affordable family planning services.

The Biden White House initially expanded Medicaid and CHIP postpartum coverage in April, a move facilitated in part by the American Rescue Plan. It included an option for states to offer 12 months of postpartum Medicaid eligibility.

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Bridging Medicaid, WIC programs could improve maternal health – Healthcare Finance News