Moms-To-Be to Receive Medical Care from the Day they Know that they Are Expecting
Pregnancy can, of course, bring joy and anticipation to expectant mothers and their families. However, pregnancy also comes with enormous new financial responsibility; cost of proper maternity care is one.
Some low-income pregnant women are eligible to receive affordable prenatal care through Medicaid; but many uninsured women are not. According to the American Pregnancy Association, a women should schedule an initial prenatal care appointment as soon as she finds out she is pregnant; but if you lack insurance, that timely appointment may not be possible.
Senator Sherrod Brown, OH (D) intends to change this. He introduced the Healthy Maternity and Obstetric Medicine Act, or the Healthy MOM Act, to ensure that all women are eligible to receive proper health care services, such as those provided by the Affordable Care Act or other insurance programs. If this bill passes, it will establish a special enrollment period for pregnant women so that they may secure health care as soon as they know they are pregnant – rather than having to wait to be covered months later. This special enrollment period does not exist yet for uninsured women. The delay in getting prenatal care that this gap in the system causes, has negative effects on both babies and mothers. Indeed, a mother is three to four times more likely to die if she goes without proper maternity care, than if she does receive proper care. As the Bill puts it:
Timely maternity care improves the health of pregnant women, as well as birth outcomes and the health of babies throughout their lifetimes. Pregnancy-related maternal mortality is three to four times higher among women who receive no maternity care compared to women who do. Regular maternity care can detect or mitigate serious pregnancy-related health complications,
The Healthy MOM Act also requires health insurance exchanges, health insurers, and group health plans to offer a special enrollment period for those uninsured or poorly insured women who might have unintended pregnancies. The enrollment period for receiving maternity care will begin on the date that the pregnancy is confirmed by a health care provider. This revision will allow those expectant mothers who did not formerly have coverage, immediately to obtain an insurance plan.
No woman should have to put her health, or the health of her unborn child, at risk because she cannot afford essential care during pregnancy., or because she has to wait for coverage.
Do you think expectant mothers in America should be seen by doctors as soon as they know that they are pregnant? Use Daily Clout’s BillCam to read Senator Brown’s full bill, to contact your local representatives to support or oppose this bill, and to raise awareness about it with your friends and on your social networks.