Washington, DC—John C. Jennings, MD, President of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), released the following statement regarding the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) decision to deny pregnant women the option to get covered when they need it most.
“ACOG is disappointed that the Administration failed to create a special enrollment period allowing pregnant women to get coverage or change health plans in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplaces. This decision came after numerous Members of Congress and health advocates, including ACOG, the March of Dimes, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and Young Invincibles, called on HHS to create this special enrollment period for pregnant women.
“As the nation’s leading group of professionals providing health care for women, ACOG knows the importance of timely access to prenatal and affordable maternity care. We also know that coverage helps ensure healthy mothers and healthy babies. The cost of an uncomplicated delivery (averaging $23,000) plus the costs of prenatal care, make clear the connection between coverage and access to needed care.
“More than half of births in the U.S. are unplanned and a woman’s coverage needs can suddenly change if she learns she is unexpectedly pregnant mid-year. Switching health plans can provide the financial protection pregnant women and their families need during this life-changing period.
“The ACA has put in place landmark protections for pregnant women, including making maternity care an Essential Health Benefit and requiring plans to cover prenatal care with no cost-sharing. The Administration should have taken this common sense approach to ensuring pregnant women the care they need by allowing women to switch plans when they become pregnant.”
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College), a 501(c)(3) organization, is the nation’s leading group of physicians providing health care for women. As a private, voluntary, nonprofit membership organization of more than 58,000 members, The College strongly advocates for quality health care for women, maintains the highest standards of clinical practice and continuing education of its members, promotes patient education, and increases awareness among its members and the public of the changing issues facing women’s health care. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a 501(c)(6) organization, is its companion organization. www.acog.org