New Jersey has become the second state to require insurers to pay for a second day of hospital care for new mothers and their babies.
Effective immediately, the legislation also mandates 96 hours of hospitalization after a Caesarean section. Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, who has given birth to two children-one of them delivered by Caesarean section-signed the bill last week, saying 24 hours of care is not enough.
Maryland was the first state to mandate insurance coverage protections (June 12, p. 22; June 26, p. 32).
In Washington, Sens. Nancy Kassebaum (R-Kan.) and Bill Bradley (D-N.J.) introduced a measure in Congress last week modeled after the Maryland and New Jersey laws. Similar bills also have been introduced in Pennsylvania and New York. The measures respond to complaints that managed-care plans are forcing mothers and babies to be discharged from the hospital too early.