Even as Republicans in Washington continue to try to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, Republican and Democratic state senators in Connecticut are throwing their support behind legislation that would allow expectant mothers to enroll in health insurance outside of the yearly open enrollment period. A change in a person’s situation - like getting married or losing health coverage, perhaps through loss of a job -can make him or her eligible for a special enrollment period, allowing the person to enroll in health insurance outside the yearly open enrollment period.
Federal law leaves it up to the states to decide whether pregnancy should be a qualifying life event but state lawmakers on Wednesday said it’s common sense to include pregnancy- and we agree.
Under the legislation, a special enrollment period would be offered after a pregnancy is confirmed by a licensed health care provider, instead of the expectant mother having to wait until the child is born, to access insurance coverage.
Senator Kevin Kelly, a Republican from Stratford, says the legislation “aims to help expectant mothers access and afford vital and often life-saving prenatal care.”
As we see it, that’s just common sense. Helping expectant mothers access pre-natal care means that doctors are likely to catch any problems early and deal with them. It means that these mothers will get sound counseling about diet, drugs, alcohol and weight, raising the chances that they will have a healthier baby. And it means that the doctor will be able to anticipate any problems that might arise during the delivery.
Put another way, it means that the baby will have a better chance at a healthy start in life.
The bill awaits Senate action.