New Insurance Options for Pregnant Women

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Low income pregnant women can now qualify for subsidized coverage on the public exchange and Medicaid.

Previously, Medicaid offered coverage to uninsured pregnant women until their children were born, but eligibility for Medicaid prevented a consumer from receiving a subsidy to purchase health insurance on the public exchange.

This changed when the United States Treasury Department ruled that Medicaid’s limited insurance during pregnancy for a low income woman did not qualify as Minimum Essential Coverage because it is temporary and states can restrict covered services.  Now, a low income pregnant woman can pick Medicaid, the public exchange, or a combination of both.  Enrolling in a public exchange plan with a subsidy and simultaneously enrolling in Medicaid would limit cost-sharing and provide enhanced maternity coverage.  Additionally, the woman would not have to worry about the coverage expiring after the birth as Medicaid does.

Providing more generous coverage is more expensive for tax payers, but could save money by preventing costly complications.

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