State Representative DebraLee Hovey (R-112) has introduced legislation at the request of constituents which would expand the amount of time new parents have after the birth of a child to sign the infant onto their health insurance policy.
Current law requires parents to place their new baby on their insurance within thirty-one days following the birth. Hovey’s bill, HB 5030, An Act Extending the Notification Period to Insurers Following the Birth of a Child would increase the thirty-one day requirement to ninety-one days.
“When a normal healthy baby is born, there is generally no difficulty in placing a newborn onto the parents’ health insurance policy,” said Hovey. “Unfortunately, there are instances when a newborn child or the mother is suffering from medical complications from the birth, and thirty-one days goes very quickly. When you are fighting for the health or the life of a child, placing the child on your insurance policy isn’t necessarily your top priority.”
Hovey noted that under current law, when a parent fails to place their child on their insurance within the thirty-one day time frame, they must go through a time-consuming, complicated process of filing forms with their insurance company and there is no guarantee that the child will not be denied coverage.
“Ninety-one days is a reasonable period within which new parents can be expected to place their child on their insurance,” Hovey added.
The bill has been referred to the legislature’s Insurance and Real Estate Committee and will receive a public hearing on Tuesday, January 25th. Hovey encouraged all members of the public who support the measure to either sign up to testify in favor of the bill, or submit written testimony to the Insurance Committee prior to the hearing date.