Bill Backs Immediate Coverage for Expectant Women

ALBANY (AP) -

The Assembly and Senate both approved legislation Wednesday that would allow women who are expecting immediate enrollment in commercial insurance plans either on or off New York’s health exchange.

Enrollment periods are generally limited, with exceptions for “qualifying events” like marriage, divorce, citizenship or birth. The coverage would be retroactive to the first of the month when a woman discovers she is expecting.

Sen. James Seward, an Oneonta Republican, says quality prenatal care is vital for the mother and child, and prompt coverage for health care will help ensure their welfare and head off higher risks to both.

If Gov. Andrew Cuomo signs the bill, New York could become the first state to ensure that eligibility when it would take effect next year.