A child born in the United States to "an illegal alien mother is not a deemed newborn" a new federal regulation has ruled , requiring that undocumented mothers of new borns must apply for Medicaid.
Under previous policies, insurance during the first year was automatic for all babies whose mothers received emergency Medicaid coverage for the delivery . Doctors feel that the new rule could leave babies without access to essential medical care such as immunization , since illegal immigrants would be reluctant to submit applications.
All children born in the US are eligible for citizenship and documenting a baby's eligibility for Medicaid is as simple as submitting a page from the child's medical record showing the child was born in the US.
However doctors will not be able to cover any services for the newborn until a Medicaid application is filed, which could take several weeks or months. Medical groups such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the March of Dimes say that some doctors may not be willing to treat these babies. They felt that in the long run, the new regulation was going to cost Medicaid more.
Leslie V. Norwalk, acting administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said that investigations have shown that Medicaid has never denied care to a baby.