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LAW Home > Legal Topics > Health Care > NJ FamilyCare/Medicaid > Coverage for adults

Help for New Moms: Medicaid Coverage and Maternal Mental Health Hotline



Being a new mom can be rewarding, but also hard. Two new programs could make the job easier for new mothers.

Medicaid coverage after giving birth has been extended

Under the old rule, new mothers were covered on Medicaid for 60 days after the baby was born. Now, if a mother is on Medicaid at the time of birth, she is automatically covered for the next 12 months.

This year-long coverage will stay in place regardless of whether the new mother’s situation changes—for example, if she starts a job with a higher income during that year. Health issues following pregnancy and birth can extend for many months. The goal is to make sure that mothers can protect their own health by accessing the care they need during that time.

National Maternal Mental Health Hotline is created

The new hotline has been created for pregnant women and new mothers. It is staffed by professional counselors who will provide free, confidential help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The counselors offer real-time support and information about resources and referrals to local and telehealth providers and support groups.

Counselors on the hotline speak English and Spanish and can also access interpreter services in 60 additional languages. Call or text 1-833-9-HELP4MOMS (1-833-943-5746) to access the hotline. Responses may take a few minutes, depending on call volume.

There is no charge for the service, and you do not need a diagnosis or referral to call. If you are depressed or anxious after giving birth, you will be able to talk to someone about your feelings.

Signs of depression and anxiety during and after pregnancy

Depression and anxiety affect pregnant women and new parts in different ways. Here are some of the common symptoms:

  • Feeling sad or hopeless most of the time
  • Lack of interest in things you used to enjoy
  • Less interest in caring for yourself (dressing, fixing hair)
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Trouble coping with daily tasks
  • Constant worry about your baby
  • Sleeping or eating too much or too little
  • Feeling very anxious or nervous
  • Unexplained irritability or anger
  • Unwanted or scary thoughts
  • Feeling that you are not a good mother
  • Thoughts of hurting yourself or your baby

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, call or text the National Maternal Mental Health Hotline at 1-833-9-HELP4MOMS (1-833-943-5746). Don't wait. Reach out today.​