Ensuring Health Care Coverage for All Pregnant Women and Their Babies

Back • Publication Date: February 27th, 2007

Authors: Mary Alice Lee, Ph.D.

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Despite programs and policies that promote maternal and infant health in Connecticut, undocumented immigrant women in low-income families are not eligible for the HUSKY health insurance program during pregnancy. This means that these expectant mothers are not covered for the preventive care—prenatal risk assessment and health promotion—that can improve maternal health and birth outcomes. While the hospital charges for care during labor and delivery can be covered with emergency Medicaid, babies born to undocumented women–new US citizens–are not automatically eligible for coverage during the first year of life, as are babies born to other mothers with Medicaid coverage. Connecticut can fill this gap with state-funded coverage for undocumented immigrant mothers during pregnancy and with timely eligibility determination for their babies.