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Maternity Coverage

In 1996 the Newborns and Mothers Health Protection Act was passed requiring insurance companies that offer maternity coverage to pay for a hospital stay of at least 48 hours for natural birth and 96 hours for a caesarean section. A mothers or baby’s physician may allow them to leave the hospital prior to that time line, but the insurance company must pay for the time the mother and baby are in the hospital up to the 48 or 96 hour limit. All group health plans must have a statement in the summary of the plan that makes the insured aware of the Act's requirements. Under most insurance plans, once a woman discovers she is pregnant she only pays a co-pay to the OB/GYN on the first visit, and each subsequent prenatal visit is covered by the insurance completely.