How long will my medical insurance allow my new baby and myself to remain in the hospital following childbirth?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: May 2, 2012

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Because many insurance companies would not pay for hospital costs beyond the bare minimum, Congress enacted legislation that allows mothers and their newborn infants longer hospital stays. The law requires, among other items, insurance companies to pay for at least a 48-hour hospital stay for mothers and their newborns after a regular delivery. The legislation provides for a 96-hour hospital stay if the baby is born through a caesarean section. (The legislation follows on the heels of several states that have enacted similar legislation, but due to loopholes many insurers escaped enforcement of states’ laws since they are regulated by federal law.) The federal law only applies to coverage that your employer self-insures. If you have insurance through a private insurance company (even if you get the insurance through work), the federal statute does not govern your rights. State law might provide you better or worse protections.

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