Midwife Bill passes House Health Care Committee

The House Committee on Health Care has just passed the Midwife Bill (S.15). This bill would allow more couples to choose home births for their babies by requiring insurance companies to cover midwifery services, including home births.

The bill (S.15) is about choice, fairness, and cost savings. Here are four reasons why VPIRG is strongly backing this bill:

  1. Women are fully capable of making wise choices about where and how to give birth.
  2. Midwives have been licensed by the state for 11 years and their practice is heavily regulated.
  3. By law, licensed midwives can only deliver a baby at home for a healthy mother during a low-risk pregnancy.
  4. Midwifery has the potential to save us a lot of money. Home births cost just one- third the price of a hospital birth on average.

S.15 passed through the Senate with resounding support, but in these last few days of the session opponents are threatening to stall its progress in the House.  We need your help to keep it moving!

Although midwifery services are already covered by VHAP and Medicaid, private insurance companies have refused.  This means that a healthy mother paying her monthly insurance premium, co-pay, and deductible, will be forced to pay for her home birth out of pocket, even though she has been guaranteed comprehensive maternity coverage by the State of Vermont.

S.15 will simply put an end to this discriminatory insurance policy. Midwifery and home birth is not for everyone. But healthy women in low-risk pregnancies should be able to rely on insurance coverage if they choose this option.

The bill now moves to the House Floor.

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