Give Now

FSSA No Longer Paying For Early Elective Deliveries

baby

Photo: Alec Couros (Flickr)

Beginning July 1, mothers must carry their children to at least 39 weeks unless they have medical reasons for an early delivery if they want to receive Medicaid funds.

Pregnant women choosing to schedule their childbirths prior to the full 39 weeks won’t get those births covered by Indiana’s Medicaid program anymore, according to a new policy the Family and Social Services Administration announced today.

The new policy, which goes into effect July 1, is meant to help reduce the state’s infant mortality rate.

Indiana has the sixth worst infant mortality rate in the country at nearly eight deaths for every 1,000 births, which state health officials say is caused by smoking, obesity and early elective deliveries.

“If there’s not a medical indication to go early, you want that baby to go 39 weeks,” Indiana State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. William Van Ness says. “Then the baby’s lungs are mature, their heart’s matured enough, their brain is, they’re able to survive without oxygen.”

Half of all births in Indiana are covered by Medicaid, and Indiana Medicaid Director Joe Moser says about 15 Medicaid births per month are early and elective.

He says while improving the health of infants is the most important goal, the new policy will also have other benefits:

“It’s also going to save Indiana Medicaid some money from the cost of pre-term births, which is much higher than a healthy, normal delivery,” Moser says.

VanNess says as part of Indiana’s push to reduce infant mortality, the state has encouraged insurance company Anthem to follow the state’s lead and end support for early, elective births.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

Stay Connected

RSS e-mail itunes Facebook Twitter Flickr YouTube

Recent Health Stories

Follow us on Twitter

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Find Us on Facebook