Up until now, health care services for pregnant women and new mothers have been sadly lacking, which problem will be sought to be addressed by the new health care reform.
Women face issues such as health insurance providers refusing to cover childbirth costs or charging higher premiums by treating pregnancy as a preexisting condition.
Though many of the reforms will not kick in till 2014, some benefits for pregnant women under the new health care bill will be made available as early as fall of this year:
- All health plans will have to cover certain services including preventive screenings for pregnant women at no extra cost
- These would include a Folic Acid supplement (which is necessary to prevent a number of birth defects in the early part of pregnancy), and counseling for women to give up smoking
- A fund of $2.5 million will be made available for facilitating home visit programs for nurses and other health care providers visit teens and young women who are pregnant. This will help young mothers cope with the stress of early parenthood. Earlier programs such as these, including a program called the Nurse-Family Partnership have been successful in getting teen mothers ready for successful motherhood