BANGOR, Maine — Caring for mothers and newborns around childbirth is the job of a midwife. A new law recently signed by Gov. Janet Mills is helping those in the health profession.
“LD 600 mandates that insurance companies reimburse certified midwives for their services,” said Sen. Stacy Brenner, D-Scarborough.
Under the new law, insurance companies will be required to cover the services provided by Maine's certified midwives for the first time.
Brenner once practiced as a certified nurse-midwife which is different from a CM.
“They practice at hospitals, they can do home births... and insurance is mandated to cover their services,” Brenner added.
She thought it was time all midwives in Maine had equal treatment.
“Anytime that you’re going to be able to offer someone to pay for their hard work and education, you’re definitely going to increase the capacity to make the field more attractive to more providers,” Brenner told NEWS CENTER Maine.
Kristen Adams became a certified midwife this past winter. She helped write LD 600.
"I think that it really opens doors for other certified midwives to come and practice in our state," Adams said. She hopes the law will attract more CMs to Maine, helping Mainers get better access to the care they provide.
"Certified midwives, you know, moving forward will be able to present themselves to be more marketable when competing with CNM for jobs.”
Brenner said the bill was passed unanimously through the house and senate. The law will take effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns sine die.
Certified midwives are a newly licensed class of providers in Maine according to Senator Brenner. In 2016, the legislature passed a law, setting standards, educational requirements, and a process for CMs to become licensed.