Protecting Reproductive Healthcare & Supporting Pregnant People

PROTECTING REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE

Reimbursement Equity for Pharmacists (SF 2459 Mann)

Despite pharmacists being authorized to prescribe contraception and provide counseling services on contraception, they were not being rightfully reimbursed for these services. Small and independent pharmacists could not afford to provide a service without properly being reimbursed. This created a barrier to accessing contraception for people in rural and underserved areas of the state.

In the Health & Human Services budget bill (SF 4699 Wiklund), Health maintenance organizations must include equal coverage of services provided by pharmacists as they do for physicians. Pharmacy has evolved from a dispensing and product reimbursement-based industry to a profession with the training and patient relationships to provide outcomes-based services and participate in care coordination efforts. Examples of required payment are:

  • Contraception counseling
  • Tobacco cessation counseling
  • HIV PrEP/PEP medication consultation
  • Naloxone consultation

Health Plan Coverage of Abortion Services (SF 3967 Mann)

In 2024, Senate DFLers continued protecting the right to access abortion care by requiring health plans regulated by the state to provide abortion care coverage, including pre and post- care services. In 2023, Senate DFLers codified access to abortion care by clarifying that public health programs in Minnesota provide health coverage for abortion services. However, health plans like those provided through MNsure were still not required to cover abortion care which resulted in no health plans offering coverage for this essential care. Religious exemptions (62Q.679) for abortion coverage for entities that provide health insurance are secured in statute and provide religious freedom to qualified organizations. The process to secure this right for Minnesotans to access health care without government interference had several opportunities for public comment, such as the published 62J evaluation, hearings in the Senate, and passed the Senate floor on May 3, 2024, via SF 4699 (Wiklund).

SUPPORTING PREGNANT PEOPLE

Securing Health Insurance Coverage for Pregnant People & Infants

Senate DFLers put the health and well-being of mothers, pregnant people, and newborns first by requiring health plans to cover services that were otherwise not offered to families as a benefit. This left the high costs of birth and caring for ill infants to new parents and caregivers despite paying for health coverage. Three new required services that health plans must cover are:

  • Amino acid-based elemental formula for infants diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, metabolic and malabsorption disorders, or other conditions that prevent the proper digestion of regular formula.
  • Rapid whole genome sequencing (genetic data) for infants and children with acute or complex illnesses with unknown etiology to help find a diagnosis of a rare disease.
  • Medically necessary transfer of mothers and their newborns between facilities immediately following birth. (SF 3511 Mann)

The following programs received funds to help end health disparities in Minnesota:

  • $260,000 to Chosen Vessels Midwifery Services will help provide education, support, and encouragement for African American mothers to breastfeed their infants for the first year of life or longer.
  • $210,000 is directed to a grant to Healthy Birth Day, Inc., to develop a pilot program that will implement a stillbirth prevention tool by tracking fetal movement.
  • $370,000 is for a grant to the Birth Justice Collaborative to plan for and engage the community in the development of an American Indian-focused birth center.
  • $260,000 is for a grant to the Birth Justice Collaborative for planning and community engagement to develop a replicable African American-focused Homeplace model. The model’s purpose must be to improve access to culturally centered healing and care during pregnancy and the postpartum period.

Supporting Midwifery Practice (SF 3546 Pappas)

In the early days of the 2024 session, Senate DFLers rushed a provision through the legislative process to ensure certified professional midwives could continue to provide life-saving care for pregnant women and people and their infants. In 2023, several suppliers stopped selling specific medications to midwives even though the statute stated they could administer the medications. A bipartisan effort helped pass a bill that clarified the scope of practice for midwives.

Senate DFL Media