Employer plans as small as 15 employees are subject to the mandate for maternity and newborn benefits.

Do Association Health Plans Offer Maternity and Newborn Benefits?

Protections for Mothers and their Babies

Yes. For large group association health plans, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act requires the plans to cover pregnancy, childbirth, and related conditions in the same manner as they cover other medical conditions under the association health plan. Practically, this means that cost-sharing (e.g. copayments or coinsurance fees) cannot be more expensive than non-maternity and newborn health benefits that are similar.

The maternity and newborn mandate extends beyond large group health plans. The Title VII benefit requirement technically applies to employer plans as small as 15 employees.

With respect to childbirth, The Newborns’ and Mothers’ Health Protection Act of 1996 requires large group association health plans to cover a hospital stay of at least 48 hours for a childbirth and at least 96 hours for a birth by caesarian delivery.