New York Law Expands Health Insurance Enrollment for Pregnancy

January 4, 2016

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently signed legislation to expand health insurance access to pregnant New Yorkers.

The measure, signed by Cuomo on Dec. 22, would permit pregnant women to enroll in the state health insurance exchange at any time during their pregnancy — making New York the first state in the nation to make pregnancy a “qualifying life event” in order to obtain health insurance benefits at any time through the health exchange.

“This legislation will help expectant mothers get access to essential pre-natal care and help build a stronger and healthier New York,” Cuomo said. “I thank the bill sponsors for their hard work on this critically important issue that will have a significant impact on future generations of New Yorkers.”

Previously, pregnancy was not included on the list of qualifying life events. Such life events include a change in residence, birth or adoption of a child, and marriage, divorce, or death of a spouse. As such, enrollment through the exchange is only available during the open enrollment period, which is October through December.

The bill (S. 5972/A. 6780B) will make pregnancy a “qualifying life event,” allowing enrollment in an insurance plan at any time during the pregnancy through the state’s health insurance exchange, New York State of Health.

Insurance coverage for the woman would be effective as of the first of the month in which the woman is certified as pregnant.

Source: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office

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