CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WBOY) — West Virginia women who have health coverage through West Virginia Medicaid or the West Virginia Children’s Health Insurance Program (WVCHIP) will now have extended postpartum health care coverage for 12 months after pregnancy. Previously, mandatory postpartum coverage was for only 60 days.

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) announced the extended health care coverage Tuesday. According to the release, approximately 3,000 West Virginia women are eligible.

“This extension of CHIP and Medicaid coverage will help mothers across the state access quality medical care for a full year after pregnancy,” said Cindy Beane, Commissioner of DHHR’s Bureau for Medical Services. “We look forward to further supporting postpartum women and are hopeful this change will improve overall health outcomes for West Virginia families.”

The DHHR said that the change was made possible by the American Rescue Plan’s new state plan authority, which allows states to extend postpartum coverage in their Medicaid and CHIP programs.

To apply for CHIP or Medicaid coverage, please visit www.wvpath.org or your local DHHR office.