Health Law Provides No Guarantees Of Access To Midwives, Birthing Centers

March 4, 2014 4:22 PM

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Insurance coverage for maternity care is required in most individual and small group plans under the federal health law, extendingsuch coverage to plans where it used to be rare. But for women who are interested in services provided by midwives and birthing centers, there are no coverage guarantees, despite the law’s provisions that prohibit insurers from discriminating against licensed medical providers.

Most women give birth in hospitals and are attended by obstetricians, but a growing number choose to deliver their babies at birth centers. The centers, typically staffed by midwives, offer women who are at low risk for complications an alternative to traditional hospital labor and delivery, eschewi...

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