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Rep. Porter Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Protect New Mothers from Surprise Bills

Congresswoman’s legislation would make it easier to get health coverage for newborns

Congresswoman Katie Porter (CA-45) today introduced bipartisan legislation to protect new parents from surprise medical bills. The No Surprise Bills for New Moms Act, co-led by Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-3), would simplify the process for enrolling newborns in health coverage.

“As a mom of three, I know firsthand that life with a newborn can be overwhelming,” Congresswoman Porter said. “As it is now, the process for enrolling children in insurance can be complicated and confusing, and the last thing that new parents need to be worried about is a surprise medical bill. This common-sense legislation would relieve new parents of an unnecessary source of stress and help families get the care they need.”

“As a mother to three young children, I can report that the last thing on your mind after having a baby is rushing to fill out complex insurance paperwork to ensure your infant’s health insurance is covered,” said Congresswoman Herrera Beutler. “Yet this glaring loophole that leads to surprise billing is saddling countless new parents with thousands of dollars in expenses they weren’t anticipating and is contributing to rising health care costs in our country. I’m pleased to partner on this bipartisan legislation today to ensure new parents will have the flexibility to enroll their new infant in health insurance, and to focus on what is most important – the health and wellbeing of the mom and their new child.”

Porter’s No Surprise Bills for New Moms Act would automatically cover newborns for the first 30 days and create a standard for enrollment after that period. It eliminates confusion for new parents by establishing a uniform 60-day enrollment period after that first month. The bill would also require that all health plans and insurers notify parents if they receive a bill for an uncovered newborn.

Congressman Peter Welch (VT-At Large), Congressman Tom Cole (OK-4), Congressman David Trone (MD-6), Congressman Jeff Van Drew (NJ-2), Congressman Gil Cisneros (CA-39), and Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-1) also joined as original cosponsors of the legislation. The legislation is endorsed by March of Dimes, March for Moms, American Hospital Association, American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, American Academy of Family Physicians, Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs, Families USA, 1,000 Days, and America’s Essential Hospitals. 

Throughout her time in Congress, Congresswoman Porter has been a staunch advocate for Orange County families. In July, she introduced the Support Working Families Act, which makes it easier for Americans serving as caregivers to get relief if their children or other dependents are unable to go to school or a childcare facility due to COVID-19. One of her first bills in Congress was the Family Savings for Kids and Seniors Act, which would allow families to set aside more pre-tax income for dependent care. 

Congresswoman Porter has also made affordable insurance coverage and health industry oversight top priorities, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. She has fought against private-equity firms trying to cut provider pay, exposed fraudulent medical supply companies, and demanded answers about taxpayer dollars spent on new drugs. She secured a commitment from the CDC Director that the Trump Administration would make coronavirus testing free for all Americans.