Policy Updates

April 6, 2021

See below for a list of bills that pertain to maternal and child health in Louisiana

Bills that are part of the Mama+ Health Policy Agenda:

SB 215 –  DISCRIMINATION:  Provides for the reasonable accommodations of employees who become temporarily disabled due to certain medical conditions. 

This bill makes employers obliged to provide reasonable accommodations for employees who are pregnant, lactating, postpartum, or have a related medical condition. It removes gendered language from the law, allowing all employees rather than just “females” to receive over six weeks of medical leave from their employer if they are pregnant, lactating, postpartum, or have a related medical condition. If these provisions are violated, an employee may file a complaint with the Louisiana Commission on Human Rights to request an investigation.

HB 468 –  MEDICAID:  Provides relative to the extension of Medicaid coverage for an individual experiencing postpartum.

HB 468 ensures that the Louisiana Department of Health will provide postpartum Medicaid coverage to eligible pregnant individuals one year after the end of their pregnancy. This coverage, available through the state’s Medicaid plan, would begin after April 1, 2022.

HB 495 – NURSES:  Allows full practice authority for advanced practice registered nurses. Removal of CPA.

This bill would allow full practice authority for advanced practice registered nurses through the repeal of the Collaborative Practice Agreement (CPA) requirements. Currently, advanced practice registered nurses are required to sign a CPA with a physician to practice in Louisiana. If HB 495 passes, advanced practice registered nurses would be allowed to practice independently within the full extent of their expertise and training.

HB 190– INSURANCE/HEALTH: Provides relative to maternity services of midwives and doulas.

This bill ensures that doula and midwife costs are treated like any other cost of childbirth and are reimbursed by clients’ insurers without discrimination. It creates the Louisiana Doula Registry board, which would review applications for doulas registering to receive health insurance reimbursement, while also authorizing a doula to practice in Louisiana regardless of whether or not they are registered with the board.

Additional Relevant Local Bills:

  • HB 301 –  TAX/INCOME TAX:  Establishes an income tax credit for certain funeral and burial expenses for certain pregnancy-related deaths.
  • SB 72– HEALTH DEPARTMENT: Creates the office on women’s health within the Louisiana Department of Health.
  • HB 193 –  HEALTH/LDH:  Creates the office on women’s health within the Louisiana Department of Health. House version of SB 72.
  • HB 7– TAX/SALES-USE: EXEMPT: Provides for a sales and use tax exemption for feminine hygiene products and diapers
  • HB 146– TAX CREDITS: Establishes an income tax credit following the delivery of a stillborn child 
  • HB 55– DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: Removes bureaucratic burdens to domestic violence survivors getting restraining orders.
  • HB 282– HOUSING/LGBTQ: This bill makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in our state’s housing opportunities, thereby joining existing protections against bias on the basis of race, religion, sex, etc.
  • HB 375– HOUSING/SEXUAL ASSAULT: Allows sexual assault survivors to break leases without incurring penalties.

Federal Policies:

Prohibits the discrimination against employees seeking reasonable accommodations regarding pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.

This bill aims to eliminate discrimination and promote birthing people’s economic security by ensuring that pregnant people receive reasonable workplace accommodations. The bill makes it unlawful to deny employment or fail to make accommodations based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.

Authorizes the use of certain U.S. foreign assistance funds to provide comprehensive reproductive health care services in recipient countries, including abortion services, training, and equipment.

This bill states that, in order to promote safe abortion services around the globe, the U.S. government should collaborate with foreign governments and service providers. It would amend the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 so that foreign assistance funds from the U.S. may be used for reproductive health care services, including abortion services, training, and equipment.

Establishes reforms of the U.S. health care system in order to improve the health of minority individuals.

This bill offers a wide range of reforms of the U.S. health care system in order to target disparities in health care services and outcomes. It includes MOMMA’s Act, which proposes an alliance for innovation on maternal health to assist states and health care systems in improving maternal health outcomes. It also aims to promote modernization of maternal and obstetric services in rural areas through federal grants.

Targets preventable maternal mortality and severe maternal morbidity in the United States to close disparities in maternal health outcomes and more.

The Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2020 proposes several measures to close disparities in maternal health outcomes and prevent pregnancy-related mortality. The bill’s objectives are wide-ranging, and include creating a task force regarding social determinants of health for birthing people and investing in community-based organizations to improve Black maternal health outcomes. The bill would also increase federal support for veteran birthing people, provide grants to grow and diversify the perinatal and maternal health workforce, fund data collection for maternal mortality review committees, and end the shackling of pregnant incarcerated individuals.

Establishes a national health insurance program which must cover all U.S. residents and which allows federal funds to be used for abortions.

Requires coverage for abortion care through public health insurance programs and stipulates that abortion care must be available at federal and federally supported health care facilities.

The Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance Act would expand the availability of affordable abortion coverage. It ensures that public health insurance programs, including Medicaid, Medicare, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, as well as insurance plans for federal employees, cover abortion care. The bill also states that abortion care must be made available at all federal health care facilities and the facilities with which the federal government contracts.

Directs the Department of State to include a discussion of the status of reproductive rights in its annual reports on human rights in countries receiving U.S. development and security assistance.

This bill directs the Department of State to evaluate a country’s reproductive rights status in its annual reports on human rights. The report should address whether said country has enforced policies to promote access to contraception and accurate family planning information, ensure safe and healthy pregnancies and births, expand access to safe abortion services, prevent maternal deaths, and prevent and treat sexually transmitted diseases.