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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; Healthcare decision planning important for CT residents; Debt dilemma poll: Hoosiers wrestle with college costs.

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Civil Rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

New VA Law: Prenatal Care for Some Legal Immigrants Covered

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Thursday, July 5, 2012   

RICHMOND, Va. - Pregnant, low-income legal immigrants and children under the age of 19 are now eligible for health care through Medicaid and FAMIS (Family Access to Medical Insurance Security), under a new Virginia law that went into effect this week.

Virginia Poverty Law Center staff attorney Jill Hanken says approximately 1,000 pregnant women, and hundreds of children, will benefit from the new coverage.

"The data shows that pregnant women who get prenatal care are more likely to have full-term births, which means the babies are probably going to be healthier. So, the data we gathered convinced the General Assembly that this was a cost-effective measure."

Hanken says women who don't receive prenatal care are more likely to give birth prematurely. She adds that, according to estimates, adopting the federal option to provide Medicaid and FAMIS to qualified low-income immigrants will actually save the state money in the long run.

"Virginia is covering the babies of these moms anyway, so the idea was to make sure that we got the healthiest babies we possibly could, the healthiest pregnancies that we could. And that requires prenatal care."

Hanken says Medicaid already covered, and still does cover, emergency services for pregnant women who are undocumented, such as labor and delivery services.

She says in order to qualify for the new prenatal care coverage, women must be residents of Virginia, and have legally resided in the U.S. for less than five years. Children must be under 19. Certain income requirements also apply. There's more information at www.famis.org.





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