May 20, 2024 - Health

Medicaid tests diaper delivery for newborns

Illustration of a diaper with a dollar-sign pattern.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Delaware will test a Medicaid program allowing delivery of meals and diapers to postpartum enrollees for three months after giving birth.

Why it matters: The pilot program approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Friday is the latest effort to expand coverage of social supports aimed at improving the health of Medicaid beneficiaries.

How it works: Low-income postpartum enrollees in Delaware can get coverage for two home-delivered mails daily, up to 80 diapers per week and up to one pack of baby wipes.

  • Medicaid typically may allow for coverage of diapers when there's medical need related to incontinence issues.
  • CMS said expanding this coverage more broadly will reduce health care use and improve infant health, notably by reducing diaper rash and urinary tract infections.
  • CMS said it will also help parents' health by cutting down on their stress.

Zoom in: In its application to CMS, Delaware noted that an earlier version of the program piloted with just state funds helped address maternal and infant health disparities.

  • More than 40% of deliveries were to "high risk" zip codes, and 57% of enrollees who received deliveries were Black or Hispanic.
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