New York State has made a push in the right direction!
On Wednesday night the state made history when it voted unanimously in the State Senate and the Assembly to support the bill to amend the current insurance law to add pregnancy to New York’s list of qualifying events. New York is the first state in the country to pass this exception to the Affordable Care Act and is leading the national movement to promote prenatal health.
New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, State Senators Liz Krueger, James Seward, and Kemp Hannon and Assembly member Aravella Simotas have been advocating for this bill since Stringer put forth his report “Time to Deliver: Pregnancy and the Affordable Care Act, “ this past March. “With the introduction of legislation, New York will be the first state in the nation to give women the opportunity to secure coverage when they get pregnant—strengthening public health, protecting the financial stability of New Yorkers, and ensuring equal access for all,” Stringer told MSNBC.com in April.
Up until last night getting married or divorced, becoming a citizen, getting released from prison, or even permanently moving outside of one’s plan coverage area all qualified an individual for a special enrollment period for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act and now pregnancy can be added to that list.
“Women across the country face the unacceptable choice of paying thousands of dollars for prenatal care out of pocket, or having no care at all,” Comptroller Stringer told MSNBC.com. “At a time when opponents of the Affordable Care Act continue to attack it in Congress and the Supreme Court, New York has shown how state legislatures can leverage Obamacare to strengthen access to health insurance for pregnant women. In the process, New York is setting the standard for the nation, and doing the right thing for women, families, and the next generation.”
New York State is still awaiting Governor Cuomo to sign the bill into law which is expected to happen soon.