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Newborns' and Mothers' Health Protection

Insurance policies that provide medical expense maternity benefits for Idaho residents may not restrict benefits for any hospital length of stay in connection with childbirth for the mother or newborn child in a manner that would conflict with the federal Newborns’ and Mothers’ Health Protection Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-204).

In general, the federal law provides that plans subject to this law may not restrict benefits for a hospital stay in connection with childbirth to less than:

  • 48 hours following a vaginal delivery; or
  • 96 hours following a delivery by cesarean section.

If the mother delivers in the hospital, the time period starts at the time of delivery. If the mother delivers outside of the hospital and is later admitted to a hospital, the time period starts at the time of admission.

If an attending provider, after speaking with the mother, determines that either the mother or newborn can be discharged before the end of the time period, the plan does not have to continue covering the stay for whichever person is eligible for discharge.


*Idaho Code § 41-2140(4) for individual health plans; § 41-2210(4) for group health plans; § 41-3923(4) for managed care organization plans.