State Rep. Missy McGee introduces 2 bills to help pregnant women in Mississippi
PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) -One state leader is looking for ways to help pregnant women in Mississippi.
State Rep. Missy McGee has recently introduced House Bill 1362, which would provide presumptive Medicaid eligibility for low-income pregnant women, making it easier to receive prenatal care.
“This is when a woman finds out she is pregnant and believes she is eligible for Medicaid that she can go to a qualified provider and then can deem her eligible for a limited period of time until her paperwork comes through to make her officially eligible for those benefits,” said McGee.
McGee said this bill is important because it allows pregnant women to see a health care provider during the first trimester when it’s critical for testing and knowing the Do’s and Don’ts.
“Local doctors have told me that they often do not see a woman for her initial prenatal visit until halfway through her pregnancy because they are waiting for approval from Medicaid. This is much too late,” McGee said.
With health in mind, the representative also introduced a second bill, House Bill 426, which extends post-partum benefits for women on Medicaid from 60 days to 12 months.
“We know that there are a lot of health care needs for new moms that go beyond 60 days,” McGee said. “So, this bill just gives them every opportunity for health care and we know that healthy moms equal healthy babies that both benefit.”
McGee said Mississippi is one of only two states left in the nation that do not provide these benefits for pregnant women on Medicaid.
“We feel that it’s very important for not only their healthcare needs but also for contraceptive care hopefully spread those pregnancies apart to avoid any preterm babies which we know are a lot more likely when they are close together,” McGee said.
According to McGee, Jan. 31 is the committee deadline, which means HB 1362 and HB 426 will have to be reported out of committee or they are considered dead for the session.
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