Since maternity coverage has not been mandated in the individual health insurance plans in Santa Monica and California, now only 19 % of insured have maternity coverage compared to 82% in 2004. Although the limited maternity insurance plans can be a true burden on young families, it has helped to keep the health insurance rates in California affordable..
Pregnancy care and delivery costs can run tens of thousands of dollars, when they are complications even in the Hunderd Thousands of dollars, with taxpayers often picking up the tab for those without insurance.
Government Brown has a bill at his desk that would mandate that insurance plans in the individual market cover maternity care. The legislation SB 222, is part of the package of bills that would affect healthcare for pregnant women and close the loopholes in the law. Only women with low income can apply for Public AIMS ( Access for Infants & Mother program) , which typically covers all cost. Self Employed and home makers, which incomes are higher have only a limited access to maternity plans, while these premiums are high with high cost sharing, such as $ 5000 deductibles.
Insurance companies disagree on mandatory maternity coverage, as health premiums will increase over all and that many policy holders who don’t need it should not be forced to pay for it.
A second bill SB 299, would require employers to continue to providing health coverage for women on maternity leave. Although new mothers are guaranteed four months of unpaid state disability leave from their jobs, employers presently don’t have to keep insuring them during that time.
Insurance companies pointing out that a new maternity coverage mandate in the state is not needed because the federal health reform will require it in 2014.
The current situation is a dilemma, as on the one hand the existing maternity plans in the individual health insurance plan are expensive and offer only high deductibles, which causes a burden on young families. But on the other hand the decision to establish mandatory maternity coverage, will raise the already high health insurance premium in Santa Monica and California for everyone.
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