The Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes maternity care as one of 10 Essential Health Benefits (EHB) that must be covered by health plans offered on the individual and small group markets. Despite this improved coverage, some pregnant women still do not have access to maternity care because they lack coverage or their health plan is exempt from the ACA's EHB requirement. If a woman becomes pregnant while uninsured at a time outside the ACA's Open Enrollment period, or is enrolled in a plan that does not cover maternity services, she will not be able to access coverage to maternity care. Without pregnant women getting the care they need, millions of mothers and their babies could experience devastating health effects.
With the majority of new mothers between the ages of 18-34, maternal health care is a key issue for many young adults. More than 50,000 people and 32 state and national health advocates - including many of our partners - called on the US Department of Health & Human Services to issue immediate guidance to classify pregnancy as a qualifying life event for special enrollment. Click here to learn more about these efforts and check a recently-released report released by Young Invincibles, Without Maternity Coverage, that highlights the financial and health consequences of being unable to access maternity coverage for pregnant women.
Kathleen Murphy, Partner Outreach Director, Text4baby
National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition
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