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Mandatory Maternity Coverage Bill

— A State Senator wants to require all health insurance plans to include maternity coverage. The change would affect only the individual market, since maternity coverage is already mandatory for HMO and group insurance policies.

Democratic Senator Noreen Evans wrote the bill. She says over the past few years, the percentage of individual plans that include maternity coverage has dropped sharply.

“Only about 19 percent of those policies currently include maternity coverage,” said Evans. “As a result, insurance coverage for maternity care has increased in cost and priced a lot of women out of the market in California.”

The insurance industry has opposed similar efforts in the past. It argues that consumers deserve the option of a cheaper plan that does not include maternity coverage, and that mandates drive up costs for everyone.

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