Indiana Medicaid stops funding some early births

Stethoscope health medical clinic
(WISH Photo, file)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s Medicaid program no longer will pay for early elective childbirths beginning July 1 as part of the state’s effort to reduce its infant mortality rate.

The Family and Social Services Administration announced the new policy Monday. It says the state-federal health care program for needy families won’t pay a hospital or physician for the delivery of a child prior to 39 weeks gestation unless it is medically indicated or occurs naturally.

The Indiana State Department of Health says a state perinatal panel recommended the change. Health Commissioner William VanNess says babies born too small or too early have greater risks for death in their first year of life.

It’s not clear how many such births Medicaid has paid for. Medicaid pays for about half of all Indiana births.

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