Bill proposed to extend newborn healthcare for veterans’ children

Matt Saintsing
March 25, 2019 - 12:12 pm

Photo by Kelly Wilkinson/Indy Star

Women eligible for maternity care through the Department of Veterans Affairs can expect newborn healthcare for the first week after birth, but a new bipartisan push would extend care for another week. 

Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) introduced the Newborn Care Improvement Act last week to help support veterans as they begin to start families. 

“Our brave service members and their families sacrifice so much for our country when they enlist, and it’s our duty to support them when they return home,” said Klobuchar, who is also seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. 

“Our bipartisan legislation will help provide men and women in the military with the resources they need to start a happy, healthy family,” Klobuchar said.

VA offers maternity care for some women veterans—through its health care facilities nationwide and private care in the veterans’ communities. But where it stands now, the VA will provide newborn care for only the first week, leaving families scrambling to get health insurance for the newest editions to their family. 

This bill would allow veterans extra time to decide how best to provide care to their child.

Tillis added the increase is following through on a promise “so families can have adequate time to find healthcare for their children.” 

“The brave men and women who served in our military deserve the best healthcare for them and their families,” Tillis said. 

Pregnant women with a permanent and a total disability rating from a service-connected injury can receive care through VA’s Civilian Health and Medical Program (CHAMPVA), which is not part of the VA’s routine seven-day newborn coverage. 

Maternity care through VA is complex, click here for more information. 

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