Medical Assistance for Children and Pregnant Women
Medical Assistance (MA) provides coverage for:
- Pregnant women (coverage for pregnant women can begin as soon as your doctor or nurse informs you that you are pregnant).
- Children of low-income families through age 18.
Children are automatically covered up to age one if the mother is eligible for and receiving Medical Assistance on the date of the child’s birth and the child continues to live with the mother.
What are the medical benefits of the Medical Assistance Program?
- Provides health care coverage to underinsured or uninsured pregnant women and infants.
- Full scope of medical services coverage.
- Coverage for the pregnant woman eligible for and receiving Medical Assistance is continued for 60 days after the birth.
- Proper prenatal care.
- Early detection and treatment of health problems.
- Helps in decreasing infant mortality.
- Helps in decreasing low birth weight, which is tied to health problems later in life.
How do you apply for Medical Assistance?
- If you are pregnant, your doctor’s office, health clinic, or a qualified hospital may be able to complete a form providing you with temporary eligibility (presumptive eligibilty) and assist you in completing an application.
- You may apply online using COMPASS. You can also use COMPASS to apply for other benefits such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Cash Assistance.
- You can also contact your local county assistance office for an application or you may download an application form (below) to send to your county assistance office. If you need help completing the application form and a friend or relative is unable to help you, trained county assistance office staff members can help you.
Healthy Beginnings Plus
Healthy Beginnings Plus is Pennsylvania’s effort to assist low-income, pregnant women who are eligible for Medical Assistance in having a positive prenatal care experience. Healthy Beginnings Plus expands maternity services that can be reimbursed by the Medical Assistance Program. The intent of Healthy Beginnings Plus is to render services that meet women’s psychosocial needs in addition to rendering traditional medical/obstetric services. Pregnant clients may elect to participate in Healthy Beginnings Plus or receive their prenatal care in the traditional Medical Assistance system.