Government Gives Pregnant Women Insurance Options

New York State is the first to give women access to insurance at any point while pregnant, citing pregnancy as a major milestone in life. Here's why this matters.

Government Gives Pregnant Women Insurance Options Africa Studio/Shutterstock

As of January 1, it will be much easier for pregnant women to receive health insurance coverage—if they live in New York.

Women who are expecting will be able to sign up for insurance plans via a state-run marketplace at any time, making New York the first state in the U.S. to offer this option.

This is big news, especially considering that previously, women were only eligible for this during a three-month open-enrollment window for the general public. Mothers were able to enroll after giving birth thanks to the Affordable Care Act—but the new law will allow women to seek this coverage at any point during pregnancy. This is huge as it will expand prenatal care, birth and delivery options for thousands of women.

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed this bill into action, saying "this legislation will help expectant mothers get access to essential prenatal care and help build a stronger and healthier New York," according to Albany's WGRZ.

Insurance seekers can cite major milestones in life—think marriage, birth, gaining citizenship—when seeking coverage, and when these changes go into effect, pregnancy will be considered among these major events. Women's rights and pro-choice organizations are applauding New York for this "groundbreaking" move.

Here's hoping the rest of the country follows suit.