New Law Gives Midwives Insurance Rights

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Midwives soon will be able to bill insurers directly for their services helping women under legislation signed into law Monday by Governor Granholm.

An insurance policy or certificate that already covers obstetrical and gynecological services also will have to include those services whether they're performed by a physician or licensed midwife nurse under the new laws.

The two new laws establish a uniform standard payment by insurers to midwives in Michigan.

They apply to coverage by health maintenance organizations and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan and take effect in March 2005.

The nonpartisan House Fiscal Agency says there are about 260 midwives operating about in about 60 practices in Michigan.