• Belci Encinosa, L.C.S.W.

    Director of Palm Beach County’s Community Health Initiatives

    with Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition of Palm Beach County


    Belci Encinosa has seen first hand the benefits of Medicaid coverage for pregnant mothers.

  • Throughout her 19 years working with Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition of Palm Beach County, an organization that assists women of all races and backgrounds, Belci has witnessed many dire situations. The common thread among their program participants is their struggle to navigate the healthcare system and to obtain necessary prenatal and postnatal healthcare services. 


    As someone who knows that every mother should have coverage to avoid adverse health outcomes Belci said, “health starts before conception. It is a basic need.” Most pregnant women in Florida are covered by Medicaid, and Belci notes that Medicaid has saved the lives of many poor and indigent mothers and babies in Florida.

    “Medicaid is a saving grace for pregnant moms.”

  • Belci stresses that healthcare coverage for mothers shapes the lives of their babies. “We want productive citizens and successful children, and that begins with prenatal care and even before,” says Belci. She believes everyone should have access to healthcare.

    Recently, Florida extended Medicaid’s postpartum coverage from 2 months to 12 months. This extended Medicaid coverage is a lifeline for many pregnant people and new moms who suffer from chronic illnesses as well as mental illnesses like postpartum depression. Addressing these illnesses is a critical part to the good health and quality of life of both mom and baby.  And while extending postpartum coverage is a critical step in the right direction, Belci knows that one year of coverage for most moms is not enough.  “As a society we need to think as a group. We are all in this together. Sooner or later everybody will be affected by the quality of healthcare of our neighbors.”

  • Read STORIES Of Other Floridians

    Relying On Medicaid



    Former Foster

    Care Children



    Seniors and People With Disabilities

  • We are grateful to the National Health Law Program (NHeLP) for their support of the

    "Medicaid | The Lived Experience" STORIES Project.