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March of Dimes - Rhode Island Chapter

220 West Exchange St. #003

Providence, RI  02903

(401) 454-1911

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    Advocate

    The New York Chapter's 2015 Advocacy Agenda

      • Done! - Securing $4 million in new funds for Nurse-Family Partnership.
      • Mandating employers make reasonable accommodations for pregnancy related conditions.
      • Expanding the definition of "smoking" under New York's Indoor Clean Air Act to include electronic cigarettes.
      • Requiring children be vaccinated against Meningococcal Meningitis.

    Issues of interest to the March of Dimes outside of those identified in the 2015 advocacy agenda will likely develop during session. March of Dimes will modify its advocacy efforts as appropriate in light of these changes. Such issues currently include:

      • Opposing legislation that would allow for a philosophical exemption to the vaccination schedule. A.943(Abinanti)/S.1536(Dilan)
      • Supporting the Child-Safe Products Act. A.5612/S.4102

    Upcoming Events: 

      • June 2: Advocacy Day

    Issue Highlight: Pregnancy as Qualifying Event

    New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer recently issued a report calling for New York State to identify pregnancy as a qualifying event for purposes of purchasing a health insurance policy on New York State of Health -New York's health insurance marketplace. Senator Liz Krueger and Assembly woman Aravella Simotas have sponsored legislation (S.4639/A.6780) calling for the same. What does this mean? And how can it help moms and babies in New York State who purchase their health insurance policy through New York State of Health?

    New York State of Health has an annual open enrollment period in which New York residents can purchase a health insurance policy. This open enrollment period typically lasts three months, running from November through February. Outside of this open enrollment period, New Yorkers cannot purchase a health insurance policy unless they have a qualifying event that triggers a special enrollment period. Qualifying events, as defined by New York State of Health, include things like getting married or having a baby.

    Pregnancy, however, is not a qualifying event in New York State. This means that if a woman becomes pregnant when she is uninsured, she cannot purchase a health insurance policy through New York State of Health until after the birth of the baby or the next open enrollment period. This has a serious impact on maternal and infant health since:

      • The cost of prenatal care and delivery averages $20,000 for an uncomplicated birth, posing a significant financial barrier for the uninsured woman who must pay out-of-pocket in order to access such health care services.
      • Pregnancy related maternal mortality is three to four times higher among women who receive no prenatal care compared to those that do.
      • Babies born to mothers who received no prenatal care are three times more likely to be born at low birth weight, and five times more likely to die, than those whose mothers received prenatal care.

    2015 - 2016 Budget Timeline:

    The Division of the Budget sends Agency Call Letter to all agency heads. Agency heads submit budget requests that comply with instructions in the Agency Call Letter to the Division of the Budget.

      • Director of the Budget Robert Megna issued his annual agency call letter to all agency heads on October 1. Agency heads were directed to submit budget requests for 2015-2016 State Operations and Aid to Localities that assume zero growth from 2014-2015 cash ceilings to the Division of the Budget by October 21.
      • March of Dimes submitted a letter to Governor Cuomo's staff requesting a $4 million line-item for Nurse-Family Partnership and continued funding in the OCFS budget for HFNY and COPS.

    Governor presents Executive Budget proposal to legislature. 

      • Governor Cuomo gave his State of the State address and 2015-2016 Executive Budget proposal presentation on Wednesday, January 21. The 2015-2016 budget presentation was originally scheduled for Wednesday, January 7, but it was delayed after the passing of former Governor Mario Cuomo on January 1.
      • The New York State Senate and Assembly held a joint public hearing on the Health/Medicaid components of the budget bills on Monday, February 2.  The New York State Medicaid program held a subsequent webinar on the Medicaid only components of the budget bills on Friday, February 5.
      • March of Dimes issued a letter to leadership in the Senate and Assembly expressing support for the following proposed allocations:
            • Funding to municipalities to provide prenatal care to uninsured women.
            • Funding to sustain immunization programs.
            • Funding to sustain tobacco control and education programs.
            • Funding to maintain Community Optional Preventive Services. 
      • March of Dimes also requested leadership in the Senate and Assembly adjust the following proposed allocations.
            • Increase funding for Nurse-Family Partnership from $3 to $4 million.
            • Increase funding for Healthy Families New York from $23.3 to $26.8 million.
      • March of Dimes met with legislators to express support for a $100 million investment in universal Nurse-Family Partnership as called for by a bipartisan group of 27 senators and 32 assembly members.

    New York State Senate and Assembly finalize negotiations and pass budget bills.

    Governor reviews budget bills passed by the New York State Legislature - may use line item veto.

    Next Step - Enacted Budget.

    Stay Informed:

    Join the March of Dimes advocacy network to receive occasional emails about key legislation important to moms and babies. The advocacy network is made up of volunteers and staff who promote the March of Dimes mission by contacting the governor and state legislators in response to New York Chapter action alerts. We need your help - every voice makes a difference!

    Do you know who represents you in the U.S. Senate or the New York State Assembly? Find out by joining the March of Dimes advocacy network!

    Visit http://www.marchofdimes.org/advocacy/actioncenter.html to register! 

    Did you know...

      • $4 million was appropriated for Nurse-Family Partnership in the 2015-2016 Enacted Budget!
      • The New York Chapter tied with the Vermont Chapter for the most advocacy wins in the East Region.
      • March for Babies is coming quick!  We hope to see you there.
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