For Immediate Release: July 1, 2023

Media Contact: Gabriela Hernandez, [email protected]   

 

Hyattsville, MD — As the Healthy Babies Equity Act goes into effect on July 1, 2023, CASA along with other advocates celebrate this milestone in healthcare access for Marylanders. Thousands of pregnant immigrants can gain access to Medicaid services, including prenatal and postnatal care. CASA and partner organizations will aid the community in enrolling into the program as soon as possible. This is a life saving win in the ongoing campaign to expand Medicaid and Affordable Care Act coverage to all immigrant Marylanders.  

Those enrolled in the program will have full comprehensive healthcare coverage during their pregnancy and four months postpartum, additionally the babies will have healthcare access for one year. 

“Having access to a doctor is going to change my life. It’s very difficult not to have health insurance for my prenatal check-ups, especially when I need to have an ultrasound… I’ll be able to go to the doctor when I need it, not when I can afford it,” expressed CASA member Jennifer Perez, who is 24 weeks pregnant.   

For information on eligibility, the public can visit www.marylandhealthconnect.gov. CASA’s bilingual health hotlines will be open for assistance. For Spanish and English call 301.270.8432 and for French and English 240.270.1318.

“This victory was made possible through the work of strong leaders, staff, and grassroots advocacy. By working together, we can successfully pass legislation and programs that support the rights and access to resources for all immigrants in Maryland,” commented Joseline Peña-Melynk, Chair of the House Health and Government Operations Committee and lead sponsor of the legislation. 

“The Maryland Department of Health is proud to provide these services,” stated Deputy Secretary of Health Care Financing and Medicaid Director, Ryan Moran. 

“I’ve been through two pregnancies without being eligible for Medicaid, and for the first time, because of the Healthy Babies Equity Act, I will have consistent access to a doctor for my entire pregnancy,” said CASA member, Milder Ramirez. Her other two kids are bright middle school children who cheered their mom on as she spoke. 

“I feel fortunate because I, like many pregnant women, will benefit from this medical insurance and we will be able to continue getting check-ups to ensure that our babies are growing strong and healthy,” concluded Ramirez. 

“With the roll-out of the Healthy Babies Equity Act, Maryland is taking an important step in making our state healthier. Access to prenatal and postpartum care is essential to the health and well-being of children and mothers. As the Senate sponsor of this legislation, I’m proud to see that immigration status will no longer be a barrier to accessing essential maternal health care in Maryland,” said Senator Clarence Lam. 

“We must always work together, live together, go to school together, fight for democracy together, and win together!” preached Kobi Little, President of Baltimore City NAACP.

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With over 122,000 lifetime Latino, immigrant, and working-class members across 46 US states, CASA is the foremost immigrant organization in the mid-Atlantic region and a national leader in supporting immigrant families and ensuring that all individuals have the core support necessary for full participation in society. Now a national immigrant powerhouse, CASA creates change with its powerbuilding model blending human services, community organizing, and advocacy in order to serve the full spectrum of the needs, dreams, and aspirations of members. Visit us at www.wearecasa.org and follow us on Twitter at @CASAforall.