As Mississippi continues to lead the nation in rates of maternal, infant and fetal mortality, the Mississippi House approved a bill last week that would grant a pregnant woman presumptive eligibility for Medicaid so that she could go to the doctor while the State finished her determination.
To qualify for presumptive eligibility under House Bill 539, a pregnant woman must go to a federally qualified health center, a county health department, or a Department of Medicaid trained and approved provider to get a pregnancy test—showing proof of income. After a provider approves her for presumptive eligibility, she would be able to visit her obstetrician for a maximum of 60 days while DOM finishes deciding whether to add the woman to the official Medicaid rolls.
The bill’s author and House Medicaid Committee chairwoman Rep. Missy McGee, R-Hattiesburg, said the program’s cost to the state would be $567,000.
“So the benefits are great. The risks are really small for the state,” she said on the House floor on Jan. 31. “And in a state where we have the highest fetal mortality, infant mortality and maternal mortality, I think this will go a long way in helping moms and babies be healthy and give babies the best shot for a healthy life.”
H.B. 539 had a bipartisan list of sponsors, including Rep. Zakiya Summers, D-Jackson; Rep. Clay Mansell, R-Clinton; Rep. Omeria Scott, D-Laurel; Rep. Jeffrey Hulum, D-Gulfport; Rep. Justis Gibbs, D-Jackson; and Rep. Fabian Nelson, D-Byram. The House passed the bill on Jan. 31, and it now goes to the Senate. If the Senate approves H.B. 539 without making any changes, it will then head to Gov. Tate Reeves’ desk where he can choose whether to sign it into law.
Insurance companies would be required to change how they handle prior authorizations for patients to obtain uncovered medications or procedures under Senate Bill 2140, which the Senate passed and sent to the House on Jan. 31.
The proposal would require insurance companies to provide a list of medications and other services that require patients
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