Democrats: Allow Pregnant Women to Enroll in Obamacare

More than 50 House Democrats are asking the Obama administration to add pregnancy to the limited list of reasons women may enroll year-round in coverage on the Obamacare exchanges.

Once the second, extended enrollment period ends April 30, Americans may only sign up for marketplace coverage if they have experienced a major life event like a divorce or the birth of a child. As things stand now, pregnancy doesn’t qualify as a reason a woman could enroll in coverage outside the official signup season.

Advocates for the health law, led by the group Young Invincibles, have been pushing the administration on that front for the last month, asking it to issue a rule making pregnancy a “qualifying life event.” They’ve convinced House members to join their cause, too, led by Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-N.J.

“The Affordable Care Act has made historic progress towards ending discrimination against women in the health insurance market by requiring plans to cover maternity care…however, many women are still vulnerable,” says a letter sent Thursday to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell by Coleman and 54 House members.