Sen. Kelly Leads Senate Passage of Legislation Enhancing Access to Prenatal Care

May 2, 2018

Women in Connecticut Have Waited Long Enough for this Legislation to Pass”

HARTFORD, Conn. – Today State Senator and Co-Chairman of the Insurance and Real Estate Committee, Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford), led the Senate passage of legislation that would improve access to prenatal health care by allowing uninsured pregnant women to enroll in health insurance.

Senate Bill 206 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 health 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 am happy to report that the Senate has passed legislation that will enhance access to prenatal care for uninsured pregnant women,” said Sen. Kelly. “Women in Connecticut have waited three long years for this legislation to pass through the General Assembly, it’s time to put politics aside and think about what is best for the women and children of our state.”

Under federal law, individuals cannot purchase insurance outside of the yearly open enrollment period unless they experience a qualifying life event – for example marriage or the birth of a baby. However, pregnancy is not currently classified as a qualifying life event in Connecticut. The proposed legislation would change this so that expectant mothers would change this so that expectant mothers would be allowed to enroll in health insurance when they become pregnant.

“This is common sense legislation,” said Sen. Kelly. “This legislation will help keep mothers and babies healthy and will translate into better health outcomes throughout their entire lives.

“I want to respectfully urge my colleagues in the House to unanimously support this bill,” said Sen. Kelly. “Let’s send a message to our Connecticut residents that we can put the health and well-being of women and children before politics under the gold dome.”

The bill now heads to the House of Representatives for final passage.