It’s a Bill—Local Congresswoman Wants to Eliminate Unexpected Childbirth Costs

March 23, 2021 Updated: March 23, 2021

Childbirth can bring a world of surprises, but there’s one shock an Orange County congresswoman wants to help parents avoid: unexpected medical bills.

Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) and Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) reintroduced the bipartisan No Surprise Bills for New Moms Act. The legislation is intended to simplify the process of getting medical coverage for newborns, so that parents are not hit with “surprise medical bills.”

“Growing your family should be a time of joy; instead, our healthcare system often springs surprise medical bills onto new parents,” Porter said in a March 18 statement.

“Right now, the process for enrolling newborns in health coverage is overly complicated, and it can easily—and understandably—slip through the cracks, leaving new parents on the hook for sky high bills.”

The bill would require newborns to be automatically placed under their mother’s insurance plan, removing the burden of having to immediately enroll the newborns in a coverage program.

It would require all health plans and insurers to cover newborns under the mother’s coverage for 30 days after birth. It establishes a uniform 60-day enrollment period for all plans and insurers after that first month.

The bill also requires all plans and insurers to notify parents if they received a bill from a hospital for a newborn that is not yet enrolled in coverage.

It was originally introduced last September.