Matt Lesser

State Senator

Matt Lesser

Deputy Majority Leader

Your Independent Voice

April 14, 2021

CT Senate Passes Bill Re: Health Insurance Coverage for Newborns

Today, the Connecticut State Senate passed legislation that would provide health insurance coverage for newborns. By law, certain health insurance policies that cover family members must cover newborns from birth. The coverage must include injury and sickness benefits, including for the care and treatment of congenital defects and birth abnormalities. State Senator Matt Lesser (D-Middletown), and Co-Chair of the Insurance and Real Estate Committee, led debate on this bill, that if enacted into law, would go into effect January 1, 2022.

“As a new parent, I know from my own experience that getting on the phone with your HR to add your newborn to your policy is the last thing on your mind,” said Sen. Lesser. “But this bill is specifically designed to protect parents of kids born with serious health conditions. Kids born prematurely often spend weeks in the hospital – and their parents can be stuck with surprise medical bills costing hundreds of thousands of dollars if they forget to fill out the necessary paperwork in time. This bill will ensure that coverage will extend automatically for the first 120 days – or the length of the hospital stay, whichever is longer, giving parents time to focus on what’s really important.”

Senate Bill 1005, bill extends insurance coverage from 61 days after birth to 121 days after birth or the length of the hospital stay of the newborn. During the time period the newborn is insured, the birth mother must notify the insurer or hospital about the birth and pay any required premium or subscription fee to continue the newborn’s coverage beyond that period. The bill is supported by Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and Doctors say the extension to 121 days is needed. While 61 days sounds like a long time, when you are dealing with a situation that involves your newborn child and the unknown, doctors say the extra time gives parents relief knowing it’s one less thing they have to worry about.

Under this bill, individual and group health insurance policies can be delivered, issued, renewed, amended, or continued in Connecticut. The policies would cover basic hospital expenses, basic medical-surgical expenses, major medical expenses, accidents, or hospital or medical services, including those provided under an HMO plan.