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Bill to Require Maternity Coverage Introduced in State Assembly

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Aired 4/20/09

 

A measure in the state assembly would require all individual health insurance policies sold in California to include maternity coverage. Supporters say a growing number of policies don't include that benefit. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has more.

 

All HMO policies and group coverage plans in California cover maternity care.

 

But about 800,000 individual policies exclude maternity benefits.

 

Supporters say that exclusion causes more pregnant women to turn to public programs like Medi-Cal.

 

Ben Singer is with Anthem Blue Cross . He argues many individual policyholders don't need maternity coverage.

 

"By mandating a maternity benefit that they and others now would have to pay," Singer says, "Their premiums would go up significantly, in some cases as much as 107 percent."

 

Some states including New York require all policies to cover maternity benefits.

 

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a similar measure last year.

 

Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.

 

 

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