The ACA has done many amazing things for women and their families, but there is one major problem that is getting lots of attention: when a woman gets pregnant she is qualified to enroll in The Marketplace under the special enrollment period -but only when her baby is born. This leaves the mother responsible for paying all prenatal care, or if this isn’t possible for her and her family, to forego the care all together.
If a woman is enrolled in any insurance program, they are required to provide maternity services before and after the birth of the child. Programs such as CHIP and Medicaid also cover prenatal/ maternity care. But for those women who don’t qualify for these programs and are not currently insured when they find out they are pregnant, this serves as a big problem. These prenatal services can cost up to $30,000, which unaffordable for most expecting women. Without the coverage and access to these services, the mother and the baby are at a much greater risk. Without prenatal care, a baby is three times more likely to have a low birth weight and five times more likely to die.
The Young Invincibles are leading the fight to urge HHS to change the special enrollment period for pregnant women to start as soon as she finds out she is expecting. As of March 10th, 37 senators and 50 House members have signed on to these letters to the HHS. Wisconsin Congresswoman Gwen Moore and Senator Tammy Baldwin are included in those urging for this special enrollment period for pregnant women.
Keep your eyes peeled for more news about this important quest for change in special enrollment periods.