New York has established pregnancy as an event allowing enrollment for insurance through the state health exchange at any time.
The law approved by the Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo adds pregnancy to events that permit signing up for health coverage outside normal enrollment periods.
Others include birth, marriage, divorce and obtaining citizenship.
Sponsors note that pregnant women with incomes below 223 percent of the federal poverty level can enroll in Medicaid at any time of year in New York.
New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, who studied the issue, says ensuring access to prenatal care improves the health of babies and mothers and ultimately saves taxpayer money.
Another new law authorizes enrolling children for the state's Child Health Plus coverage as soon as they're born.
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