Senator Somers Applauds Legislation Enhancing Access to Prenatal Care

June 2, 2017

HARTFORD, Conn. – Today State Senator Heather Somers (R-Groton) cosponsored legislation that would improve access to prenatal health care by allowing uninsured pregnant women to enroll in health insurance.

Senate Bill 586 would make pregnancy a qualifying life event so that expectant mothers could enroll in health insurance outside of the yearly open enrollment period, instead of being required to wait until their child is born to access insurance. Under the bill, a special enrollment period would be offered within 30 days after the pregnancy is confirmed by a licensed health care provider.

“I was proud to stand with my fellow legislators and support women and their babies,” said Sen. Somers. “This legislation will ensure that all pregnant women are afforded access to this vital prenatal care – which ultimately saves lives.”

Under federal law, individuals cannot purchase insurance outside the yearly Open Enrollment Period unless they experience a qualifying life event for example – marriage or the birth of a baby. Pregnancy, however, is not currently classified as a qualifying event in Connecticut. The proposed legislation would change this so that expectant mothers would be allowed to enroll in health insurance upon becoming pregnant.

“I applaud Senator Kelly for his diligent work on this legislation and I would urge my fellow lawmakers in the House to approve this bill, and send a clear message that Connecticut values the health of expectant mothers and their children,” said Sen. Somers.