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Reps. Porter, Herrera Beutler Reintroduce Legislation to Protect New Parents from Surprise Medical Bills

Bipartisan bill would make it easier to enroll newborns in health coverage

Congresswoman Katie Porter (CA-45) today reintroduced 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.

“Growing your family should be a time of joy; instead, our healthcare system often springs surprise medical bills onto new parents,” Congresswoman Porter said. “Right now, the process for enrolling newborns in health coverage is overly complicated, and it can easily—and understandably—slip through the cracks, leaving new parents on the hook for skyhigh bills. I’m proud to once again partner with Congresswoman Herrera Beutler on this legislation to help families get the care they need.”

“As parents in Southwest Washington welcome a newborn baby into their lives, many are unknowingly incurring thousands of dollars in surprise medical billing simply because the window to complete enrollment paperwork is so narrow during this hectic time,” Congresswoman Herrera Beutler said. “This kind of surprise billing is contributing to rising health care costs for families across our nation. The bipartisan bill I’m cosponsoring will help give parents peace of mind that they’ll have more flexibility to enroll their child in health insurance after birth without risking these exorbitant and unnecessary costs.”

The 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.

Twenty two members of the House of Representatives also joined as original cosponsors of the legislation. The legislation is endorsed by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, March of Dimes, American Hospital Association, Families USA, American Academy of Family Physicians, America’s Essential Hospitals, 1,000 Days, and Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.

Throughout her time in Congress, Congresswoman Porter has been a staunch advocate for families. Last month, she reintroduced one of her first bills in Congress, the Family Savings for Kids and Seniors Act, to more than double the amount of pre-tax income families can set aside for dependent care. She has also been an outspoken advocate for women, especially single moms, who have been forced out of the workforce during the pandemic.

Congresswoman Porter has also made it a priority to bring accountability and change to our broken healthcare system, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last month, she reintroduced legislation that would shield patients with medical debt from long-term financial devastation. In January, she introduced the Medicare Economic Security Solutions Act to protect older Americans from surprise medical bills. She has also fought against private-equity firms trying to cut provider pay, exposed fraudulent medical supply companies, called out Big Pharma’s anti-competitive behavior, and demanded answers about taxpayer dollars spent on new drugs. She secured a commitment from the former CDC Director that the Trump Administration would make coronavirus testing free for all Americans.

A one-page explanation of the No Surprise Bills for New Moms Act can be found HERE.