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Jaime Herrera Beutler Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Protect New Mothers from Surprise Bills

Legislation would simplify health insurance enrollment process for newborns

Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-03) today introduced bipartisan legislation to protect new parents from surprise medical bills. The No Surprise Bills for New Moms Act, co-led by Congresswoman Katie Porter (CA-45), would simplify the process for enrolling newborns in health coverage. 

“As a mother to three young children, I can report that the last thing on your mind after having a baby is rushing to fill out complex insurance paperwork to ensure your infant’s health insurance is covered,” Herrera Beutler said. “Yet this glaring loophole that leads to surprise billing is saddling countless new parents with thousands of dollars in expenses they weren’t anticipating and is contributing to rising health care costs in our country. I’m pleased to partner on this bipartisan legislation today to ensure new parents will have the flexibility to enroll their new infant in health insurance, and to focus on what is most important – the health and wellbeing of the mom and their new child.”

The No Surprise Bills for New Moms Act will simplify the insurance enrollment process by:

  • Requiring all health plans and insurers cover newborns under the mother’s coverage for 30 days after birth.
  • Establishing a uniform 60-day enrollment period for all plans and insurers after the first 30 days after birth for newborns. This gives parent(s) sufficient time to enroll their newborn in coverage and handle enrollment issues that may arise.
  • Requiring all health plans and insurers notify parent(s) if they receive a bill for an uncovered newborn. If an insurer receives a bill from a hospital or provider for a newborn that is not yet enrolled in coverage, they must notify the parent(s) immediately.

Representatives Peter Welch (VT-At Large), Tom Cole (OK-4), David Trone (MD-6), Jeff Van Drew (NJ-2), Gil Cisneros (CA-39), and Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-1) also joined as original cosponsors of the legislation.

The legislation has earned the endorsement of numerous women’s and children’s health organizations, including March of Dimes, March for Moms, American Hospital Association, American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and American Academy of Family Physicians.