For the 2022 legislative session, a continued focus for Indiana House Republicans is to further reduce the state’s infant and maternal mortality rates.
House Bill 1254, which unanimously passed the Indiana House of Representatives, would help Hoosier babies by streamlining the state’s newborn medical screening process. Every newborn in Indiana is screened for over 50 health disorders prior to leaving the hospital or within five days of a home birth. Currently, adding a new screening for newborns requires legislative action, which can add unnecessary delays to the process.
Under this legislation, a panel of medical experts would vet and add screenings to the state’s list, which could speed up the process and potentially save lives. These screenings are important because many medical disorders can be hard to detect. Treating these conditions early could make all the difference in the long-term health outcomes of each baby. Learn more about the Indiana Newborn Screening Program at in.gov/health/gnbs.
House Bill 1140 would provide pregnant Hoosiers greater access to Medicaid benefits by increasing the ceiling on income requirements and extending the timeframe during which they can receive coverage. The legislation, passed by the House and now with the Indiana Senate for consideration, would raise the family income requirement for Medicaid from 200% to 208% of the federal income poverty level. The Medicaid coverage period would also be extended to a full year after pregnancy, as opposed to the current 60 days.
According to a recent report by the Indiana Mortality Review Committee, 85% of pregnancy-related deaths occurred postpartum. Of those deaths, 56% occurred after six weeks. Every life is sacred, and Indiana House Republicans will continue their efforts to protect Hoosier mothers and newborns. To learn more about proposed legislation and watch session, visit iga.in.gov.