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Newborns’ and Mothers’ Health Protection Act

Under federal law, group health plans and health insurance issuers offering group health insurance coverage generally may not restrict benefits for any hospital length of stay in connection with childbirth for the mother or newborn child to less than 48 hours following a vaginal delivery, or less than 96 hours following a delivery by cesarean section. However, the plan or issuer may pay for a shorter stay if the attending provider (e.g., your doctor, nurse midwife or physician assistant), after consultation with the mother, discharges the mother or newborn earlier.

Also, under federal law, group health plans and health insurance issuers may not set the level of benefits or out-of-pocket costs so that any later portion of the 48 hour (or 96 hour) stay is treated in a manner less favorable to the mother or newborn than any earlier portion of the stay.

In addition, a plan or issuer may not, under federal law, require that a doctor or other health care provider obtain certification for prescribing a length of stay of up to 48 hours (or 96 hours). However, to use certain providers or facilities, or to reduce your out-of-pocket costs, you may be required to obtain certification.