Pregnant women gain new options under health law

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — The health care law has opened up a new opportunity for some mothers-to-be to save on medical bills for childbirth.

Lower-income women who signed up for a private policy in the new insurance exchanges will have access to additional coverage from their state's Medicaid program if they get pregnant.

Some women could save hundreds of dollars on their share of hospital and doctor bills.

Medicaid already pays for nearly half of U.S. births, but this adds another dimension to the safety-net program.

Officials and advocates say the enhanced coverage will be available across the country, whether or not a state expands Medicaid under the health law.

The main roadblock right now seems to be logistical: reprogramming state and federal computer systems to process the new benefit.