Legislation doubles time for healthcare coverage of veterans' newborns

UNITED STATES — Lawmakers are looking to give veteran moms more time for their newborns to receive healthcare through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The number of women serving in the military continues to grow and after retirement, more of them are turning to the VA for healthcare coverage.

"The expected number of women veterans using VA healthcare will continue to rise rapidly,” chief consultant for the VA Women’s Health Services Dr. Patricia Hayes said to a House committee earlier this year.

The healthcare coverage currently includes seven days for a newborn and after that point, a veteran must find and sign up for health insurance for the child.


The Newborn Care Improvement Act of 2019 would double that time to two weeks of coverage.

Rep. Doug Collins (R-Georgia) co-sponsored the bill in the U.S. House of Representatives.

"It's a dramatic impact,” Collins said. "We wanted to make sure that our veterans, and we're seeing more and more women having children in the military, make sure that if they had a child that had issues we're going to be able to give them up to 14 days to stay covered."

The healthcare coverage for newborns includes patient and outpatient care, immunizations and neonatal intensive care among other post-delivery services.

The House has already passed the proposal and a version is now sitting in the U.S. Senate.

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