Drive-Through Deliveries: In Support of Federal Legislation to Mandate Insurer Coverage of Medically Sound Minimum Lengths of Postpanum Stays For Mothers and Newborns
President Clinton signed the Newborns’ and Mothers’ Health Protection Act of 1996 into law on September 26, 1996. The Act requires insurers that provide maternity benefits to cover medically sound minimum lengths of inpatient, postpartum stays according to the joint guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. This Note discusses the historical context in which the necessity for passage of protective legislation arose, the interplay between state and federal statutes that created the need for federal legislation to provide desired protections for postpartum patients and examines the provisions of the Act. This Note endorses the Newborns’ and Mothers’ Health Protection Act of 1996 as federal legislation necessary to protect postpartum patients from medically inappropriate insurer mandates while still allowing medical providers and their patients flexibility in medical decision making in the postpartum period.