Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) recently added additional coverage for postpartum depression screenings to support maternal health.  

The expansion impacts all commercial product lines of business and funding types and covers the full cost of the initial postpartum depression screening for up to one year following the birth or loss of a child.  

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in eight women experience postpartum depression. Dr. Josette Gordon-Simet, BCBSNE’s chief medical officer, said postpartum depression may not be identified during the 6-week post-delivery care visit, as symptoms can present themselves before or after that time. BCBSNE believes getting care for postpartum depression is important for the health of the mother, baby and other family members. 

“Having to pay out of pocket for mental health services deters some members from going to the doctor,” Dr. Gordon-Simet said. “Adding coverage for an additional visit gives our members peace of mind knowing they have the resources to get the help they need, when they need it.” 

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association’s Health of America report found that severe maternal morbidity rates have “risen 9% for all racial and ethnic groups in both the Blue Cross Blue Shield commercially insured and Medicaid populations between 2018 and 2020.” Expanding coverage for postpartum depression screening is one way BCBSNE is working to improve maternal health. Additionally, BCBSNE offers a Pregnancy Care Program, which provides members with education, encouragement and support throughout their pregnancy.  

Members can seek care through telehealth or in-person visits. If a member is diagnosed with depression, the treatment will be covered under their plan’s mental health benefits with applicable cost shares applied. 

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